Many people in the West Palm Beach area probably either have been stopped or know someone who has been stopped for alleged drunk driving.
Just because DUI charges are fairly common, it does not mean they are not serious. A DUI in Florida is a criminal offense which means that a person will have a conviction on their record if they are found guilty.
Like other criminal charges, even a first-time DUI offense can land a person in jail. They do not have to, but judges can put a person in jail for up to 6 months. If the person had at least .15 blood alcohol content, then the judge may sentence the person to up to 9 months in jail.
Other penalties can include a fine of at least $500 and up to $1,000. For those who have a higher BAC, fines range from $1,000 to $2,500. The minimum license suspension is 180 days but can be up to 1 year.
A person may be able to get a restricted license to go to work, but that is only after they serve 30 days of a full license suspension.
There are other penalties and consequences for a first-time DUI. One example is that a person will likely pay higher insurance premiums for years. A person who drives for a living or regularly for work may have to find a new career even after only one DUI.
It is also important to keep in mind that these penalties are for those with no prior DUI convictions and no other aggravating circumstances. Someone who, for example, causes an accident may face more severe penalties.
Those in South Florida who are accused of DUI have legal options
Even if they have never been in trouble before and are being offered what seems like a good deal, someone accused of a DUI should make sure they understand their options.
The penalties even for a first-time DUI are steep. Many times, a person will be able to defend against the charges.