Most people in Florida understand that they may face charges of driving under the influence if they are caught driving with alcohol in their system. However, there are many different types of DUI charges in Florida and depending on the circumstances of a case, the penalties may be much more severe than a person realizes. In Florida , DUI charges may vary depending on several factors such as your blood alcohol level, if injuries or property damage resulted from the DUI, and previous convictions.
The courts view subsequent convictions of a DUI much more seriously than they do first offenses. While a first offense can be seen as a mistake or a slight error in judgment, subsequent offenses indicate a pattern of misbehavior. If you are convicted of a DUI for a second time within five years of the initial conviction, you will have to spend a mandatory ten days in jail, and a judge could sentence you to up to nine months. If you are convicted a second time but more than five years has passed, you will not face any mandatory jail time.
Being convicted of a DUI a third time brings much harsher consequences. Not only will you face longer jail sentences, but you will also be considered a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO), which will result in a license suspension of five years. To be labeled an HTO, you must be convicted of a DUI three times within five years.
DUI with Property Damage or Injury
A less serious charge, DUI with property damage or injury is considered a misdemeanor. Even though this is one of the more minor DUI charges, if someone is injured, the penalties will likely largely depend on the severity of injury.
Any DUI refers to the offense of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.08. An aggravated DUI charge may apply, however, if your BAC greatly exceeds that legal limit. Even if you are only slightly over the 0.08 limit, if you have a child in the car or are driving on a suspended or revoked license, you may still face aggravated DUI charges. Lastly, you may also face felony charges of aggravated DUI if someone is hurt or killed as a result of your DUI.
The most serious DUI charge you can face is DUI manslaughter. DUI manslaughter occurs when someone drives under the influence and causes an accident that results in someone being killed. A conviction for this charge will result in a mandatory minimum sent of four years in prison, although a person may be sentenced to up to 15 years.
Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help with Your Charges
DUI charges are serious, and there are many different types you could face in Florida. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando DUI lawyers know the defenses available in these cases and how to use them to get your charges reduced, or dropped altogether. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys.