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DUI Convictions Stick With You

Facing a DUI charge is stressful and challenging. It becomes especially worrisome if you already have a past conviction. In Florida, the penalties for DUI convictions compound after each offense. This means that after each subsequent conviction, there is the potential for even more jail time, fines, and even lead to the permanent revocation of your driver’s license. These penalties can have a huge impact on your reputation and career. Knowing your rights and obligations is the first step to increasing your chances of a positive outcome in the event that you’re pulled over under suspicion of a DUI.

How DUIs Are Classified in Florida

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is when a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that they’re impaired, or their blood or breath alcohol level (BAL) exceeds the legal limit. The legal BAL limit is 0.08% and can be determined using a breathalyzer or blood test.

Multiple DUI offenses can happen due to various reasons, including repeat instances of impaired driving, failure to complete required alcohol education programs, or violations of DUI probation conditions. Each subsequent DUI charge carries more severe penalties than the previous one, emphasizing the importance of seeking legal counsel as soon as possible.

Penalties for Conviction

If you are convicted of multiple DUI offenses in Florida, the penalties can be severe and have a lasting impact on your life. The exact penalties for a DUI conviction will vary depending on the individual circumstances. Factors like whether or not someone was injured as a result of the DUI, the age of the passengers, the number of previous offenses, and the exact BAL will impact the amount of the fines and whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony charge. After the fourth conviction, the law mandates a permanent license revocation-making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Florida.

Unfortunately, DUI charges alone can impact your career and professional license, even before conviction. In some cases, the professional licensing board can launch an investigation just from DUI allegations. Reporting DUI convictions to your work or to the appropriate licensing board can feel embarrassing and negatively impact your reputation or lead to job loss.

How to Protect Yourself

Whether you’re on your first or third DUI charge, there are several ways you can protect yourself and increase your chances of a positive outcome. If you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, there are still things you can do to improve your situation. First and foremost, make sure you have your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance at all times while operating a motor vehicle. It’s important to remember that Florida is an implied consent state, which means that any time you operate a vehicle, you are tacitly consenting to lawful testing of your BAL. Depending on the circumstances, refusing one or more times could lead to additional penalties.

These accusations don’t define you as a person, and you still deserve the opportunity to continue living life normally. The best way to do this is to call an experienced defense attorney at the earliest opportunity. An attorney’s guidance will be invaluable for your case, and the earlier their involvement, the better. If you have questions regarding previous DUI convictions or require legal assistance for criminal charges, contact our office today.


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