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FIRST TIME - SARASOTA DUI
ARREST & CONVICTION
The crime of first DUI offense is classified as a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida, but carries standardized DUI penalties that are more severe than a traditional Second Degree Misdemeanor. Under Florida Statute 316.193, the crime of a first DUI offense is committed when a person: (i) drives a vehicle, or is found to be in actual physical control of a vehicle, within the state of Florida; (ii) the person is either: (a) under the influence of alcoholic or any chemical or controlled substance, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired; or (b) has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; or (c) has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
A first (1) time DUI offense and conviction in the state of Florida could result in: (i) up to a $1,000 fine; (ii) six months in jail; (iii) loss of your driver’s licenses for up to six months; (iv) ordered to attend drunk driving school and a drug and alcohol program; (v) community service; and (vi) a ten (10) day vehicle immobilization, which cannot be served at the same time as the jail term. The court can grant exception if the impoundment presents a hardship to a family member that has no other means of transportation or if the vehicle is used only by an employee of the defendant or if the vehicle is owed by the defendant's business.
While the fines and penalties may be decreased if you have no prior criminal history, they can be increased under the following circumstances: (i) nine months in jail if blood alcohol level is .15% or more; (ii) nine months in jail for having a passenger under 18 years old; (iii) one (1) year in jail if there was an accident involving property damage or minor injuries; and (iv) five (5) years in jail if there was an accident involving “serious bodily injury.”
In addition to the criminal penalties, you can lose personal freedoms including: (i) unable to obtain a passport; (ii) unable to purchase a firearm; (iii) unable to obtain a professional license; (iv) rent a home; (v) work with children; and (vi) difficulty obtaining a government student loan for higher education could be extremely difficult. Your auto insurance premiums are likely to increase to the point it becomes unaffordable, or your insurance may be cancelled altogether.