Florida has joined in the national trend that offers little tolerance or leniency to individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Among the various criminal and driver's license penalties one can face, terms of imprisonment are often the most concerning. Losing your freedom is never a welcomed experience, and when incarceration negatively impacts other areas of one's life, including their employment, family, and financial stability, the results can be life altering.
When it comes to the possibility of being sentenced to a term of imprisonment for driving under the influence, the nature of the charge and the driver's prior criminal record will have much to do with the ways in which courts will determine the length of a sentence. In some cases, jail sentences can be reduced or avoided entirely. Florida courts also have the discretion to allow convicted individuals to serve alternative sentencing options. Attending a residential alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, for example, can be used as credit toward a term of imprisonment. When the opportunity arises, our legal team works with interested clients who wish to obtain treatment and avoid traditional jail sentences.
While terms of imprisonment can vary considerably from case to case, Florida Law does establish general sentencing guidelines for DUIs:
A conviction for a standard first-time DUI carries a maximum term of imprisonment of six months. Various factors and circumstances can result in longer sentences. Individuals who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or higher may face a maximum of nine months' imprisonment.
Being convicted of a second DUI offense within 10 years of a prior conviction can subject you to up to 9 months imprisonment, or 12 months if your BAC was .15% of higher. If a second DUI comes within 5 years of a previous conviction, there is a mandatory term of imprisonment of at least 10 days with at least 48 hours of confinement to be served continuously.
A third DUI within 10 years is punishable by a minimum of 30 days in jail, with at least 48 hours of consecutive confinement.
Fourth or Subsequent DUI
A fourth or subsequent DUI can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison.
In cases involving aggravating circumstances and more serious offenses, including certain felony DUIs and DUIs resulting in accidents or injuries, convicted individuals may face mandatory terms of imprisonment and longer maximum sentences. Although lengthy maximum terms of imprisonment can appear frightening, an experienced, resourceful Miami criminal defense attorney from our firm can assist you in exploring effective methods for avoiding or reducing jail time. If you would like to learn more about the criminal penalties and terms of imprisonment you face after being charged with a DUI, please contact a Miami DUI attorney from Parks & Braxton, PA.