The Severe Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Bad thing can happen to good people such as in the case of DUI conviction. The effect can be devastating and it will affect the quality of your life no matter which angle you look at. You have one mandatory thing to do and that is to find a competent DUI attorney in the area of your DUI charges.
Driving under alcohol or drugs influence is considered as a dangerous criminal act in every state across the country. A DUI conviction carries serious consequences that may adversely affect both your personal and professional lives for years to come.
DUI penalties vary from state to state but can be quite severe depending on the number of times youíve been charged for the same offense before. In normal cases, a DUI is considered as a misdemeanor but can still be classified as a felony. It becomes a felony if the accused has prior DUI convictions, has caused property damage, injured another person, or has significantly high BAC level. If your DUI charge is classified as a felony, then you stand to face more severe penalties than a person facing a DUI misdemeanor charge.
DUI penalties in most states, including Florida, include hefty fines, suspension of your driverís license, jail time, probation, forced community service, installation of an ignition interlock device, and impoundment of your car. In the state of Florida, driving under an illegal alcohol level, known in short as DUBAL, of .08 will result in an immediate suspension of your driving license. Florida DUI statutes state that your license should be suspended for 6 months from the day of arrest for the first DUI offense and for one year for multiple DUBAL offenses. Youíll be provided with a 10-day temporary permit on the day of arrest. After the permit expires, youíll need to serve 30 days of the suspension before you can apply for a hardship license. Suspension of your driving license will adversely affect your mobility, work, and your general well-being.
DUI convictions donít just stop with license suspension. If you are a first-time offender, you could be looking at a 6-month jail time and/or a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000. If youíve committed a prior DUI offense in the last 5 years, you could face a one-year jail time, incur a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, and attend community service. A third-time DUI offender may be jailed for a whole year, suffer a 3-year license suspension, or pay a fine of $2,000 to $10,000. A fourth time DUI offense is considered as a felony with a conviction of up to 10 years imprisonment, incur a 5-year license suspension and pay a fine of between $4,000 and $10,000.
The After Effects
The worst part of a DUI conviction is the fact that it comes with a criminal record on your part. A criminal record will be a huge barrier in your professional and social life. Potential employers doing a background check on you will find the record and probably disqualify you from a job you are highly qualified for.
Get the Help of an Experienced DUI Lawyer
In the face of such dire consequences, do not try to defend yourself against a DUI charge without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Neither should you throw in the towel and simply plead guilty. Instead, find a good Florida DUI lawyer who is experienced in all matters regarding Florida DUI laws. The DUI lawyer will be of great help since he or she understands well all the courtroom proceedings that you may not be aware of. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer in Florida should be your first move as soon as you are arrested for a DUI.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Braxton
Starting as a former Assistant Public Defender in Tampa, FL, Michael Braxton has more than 21 years experience in defending DUI clients from all parts of Florida. Heís a senior partner at Parks & Braxton, a Tampa DUI Law firm with experienced lawyers working around the clock to protect your rights and restore your driving privileges after a DUI arrest.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.