Even a First-Time Florida DUI Conviction Carries Harsh Penalties

After being arrested for even just a first DUI in or around Ponte Vedra, you’re at risk for jail time, a heavy fine and loss of your driver’s license. You’ll be in need of an experienced and effective DUI lawyer Ponte Vedra. You should arrange for a consultation as soon as you get out of jail.

Penalties for a First-Time Offender

Florida prosecutors and judges take DUI arrests seriously, and if you’re convicted, the penalties are harsh. Here’s just part of what a first-time offender is facing:

  • Up to 180 days in jail.
  • A fine of up to $2,000 plus court costs.
  • A minimum of 50 hours of community service.
  • A year of probation.
  • Attendance at a victim awareness program.
  • Impoundment of your vehicle at the time of your arrest.
  • Remedial DUI education.

Collateral Consequences

Aside from the possible criminal repercussions, there are collateral consequences of a DUI arrest, and they come fast. The most important of those consequences is the immediate suspension of your driver’s license for between six months and 18 months. You might be able to obtain a temporary driver’s license though. You only have 10 days to seek a hearing on that suspension, so retaining a quality and respected DUI lawyer Ponte Vedra as soon as you get out of jail is of the utmost importance.

Take notice that if at the time of your arrest, your blood alcohol content was above .15, or there was a minor in the vehicle that you were operating, possible penalties can increase significantly. A DUI arrest in Florida is a serious offense, and a conviction can stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. Aside from the collateral consequences against your driver’s license, employment, educational and housing opportunities might be affected too. Remember that you only have 10 days to seek a hearing on the loss of your driver’s license. Be prepared to consult with and retain a DUI lawyer Ponte Vedra as soon as you get out of jail.

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