Facing any type of criminal charge is a daunting prospect, especially when your personal freedoms and financial security are at stake with a potential conviction. With a drunk driving charge, a conviction could bring penalties that may affect various areas of your life, including your right to drive.
Even if it is your first-time DUI in Florida, you could be facing serious consequences. It is worthwhile to shield your interests from the very beginning by seeking appropriate defense counsel, no matter your criminal history. Whether it is your first DUI or you have other convictions on your record, your future is worth protecting.
What to expect from a first-time DUI
Florida drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher will face arrest and the potential for other penalties if they are convicted of drunk driving. If it is your first DUI, the following penalties could have a significant negative impact on your life:
- First-time DUI offenders will face fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. If your BAC was over .15 or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time, your fines could be $1,000 to $2,000.
- You may be required to serve 50 hours of community service, as well as pay hourly fines associated with your mandated service.
- If convicted of a first DUI, you may face probation. Your probationary period will not exceed one year.
- A first-time DUI offender could face time behind bars. The period of incarceration will not exceed six months but could be as long as 9 months if BAC was .15 or higher or there was a minor in the car.
While a first-time DUI may not seem like a big deal initially, it can take a significant toll on various areas of your life. You would be wise not to underestimate your legal situation but to act quickly secure the help you need to effectively protect your rights and future interests.
Should you fight a DUI charge?
You may be unsure of how you can fight a DUI charge or if it is worth the effort, but with the right help, you may be able to secure lesser penalties or challenge certain elements of the prosecution’s case against you. There are various ways that you can actively work to shield yourself against potential consequences, and you can learn more about the right choice for you by contacting an attorney for a complete evaluation of your unique case.