A review of 7 KEY topics You MUST Know by ➪ Boca Raton ➪
DUI Penalties and DUI Plea Bargain
in West Palm Beach

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If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, it is the government’s job to prosecute you.

But it is your attorney’s job to prosecute the government. So, no matter how guilty you think you are, take comfort in that fact.

It is a defense attorney’s job to prosecute the government because, just like you and I are required to obey the law, law enforcement officers are also required to obey the law.

And when it comes to arrests for DUI, the Florida Legislature has imposed lots of legal restrictions on what police officers can and cannot do.

Police officers are human beings, and like all human beings, they make mistakes, sometimes innocently, sometimes negligently, and sometimes officers are just having a bad day.

Because a DUI arrest, to be legal, must conform to strict procedures, and police officers often fail to follow those procedures, your apparent or actual guilt may be irrelevant if the police themselves have not followed DUI law.

Fighting Against A DUI Arrest

An arrest for DUI in Florida sets two different processes into motion, (1) an administrative review and (2) a criminal prosecution.

The Administrative Review

If a driver is arrested for DUI and refuses to give the police a sample of his breath, the driver’s license may be suspended even before the criminal case begins. Your defense attorney may be able to prevent or appeal this suspension but only has a limited time to do so.

The Criminal Prosecution

To develop a strong defense for a driver arrested for DUI, a defense attorney must thoroughly investigate all of the evidence the State intends to rely on, including all police reports, all roadside videos, whether from police bodycams or dashcams, and all eyewitness statements.

Florida DUI penalties and consequences of DUI in Palm Beach County
DUI penalties and consequences of DUIs

Drivers charged with DUI can be, and sometimes are, acquitted of all charges when an investigation discloses that:

  • the officer has improperly stopped the driver, or
  • the officer improperly instructed the driver, or
  • the officer improperly conducted the roadside exercises, or
  • the officer improperly questioned the driver, or
  • the officer improperly administered the breath test, or
  • if the breath-testing machine has not been properly maintained.

DUI Penalties

The many detailed laws that identify the penalties for driving under the influence in Florida can be found in Florida Statutes, Section 316.193. Remember that the DUI penalties described below can vary, depending on the circumstances.

For example, if the amount of alcohol in a driver’s blood, measured by a breathalyzer, is exceptionally high, the penalties may increase.

First Conviction for DUI

An initial conviction for driving under the influence results in the following potential penalties:

  • Incarceration in the county jail for up to six months;
  • a term of probation for up to one year;
  • revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license for six months to one year;
  • fines from $500 to $1000;
  • 50 hours of community service;
  • impoundment of the driver’s car for ten days;
  • Twelve hours of DUI School.

Second Conviction for DUI

A second conviction after a DUI arrest within five years of the first will result in

  • incarceration in the county jail from a minimum of ten days up to nine months;
  • a term of probation for up to one year;
  • revocation of the driver’s license for five years;
  • mandatory placement of an interlock ignition device for one year
  • fines from $1000 to $2000.

Third Conviction for DUI

A third conviction for DUI within ten years of the prior conviction, which the State can prosecute as a felony, results in:

  • incarceration of up to 12 months in the county jail if prosecuted as a misdemeanor and up to five years in prison if prosecuted as a felony;
  • a term of probation for up to five years;
  • revocation of the driver’s license for ten years;
  • the mandatory use of an Interlock Ignition Device for two years;
  • fines from $3,000 to $5,000.

Do you want to Avoid the worst DUI Penalties? You need a seasoned DUI Attorney on your side.

When charging a driver with DUI, police officers sometimes jump to conclusions.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Because I have represented many drivers charged with driving under the influence and I have tried many DUI cases, together we can thoughtfully analyze the police reports, roadside videos, and all other evidence to determine whether the arresting officers properly followed the law when they arrested you.

Between acquittal and conviction, there is a world of difference.

-Joshua LeRoy

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