Florida DUI Convictions
Being arrested for a DUI in Florida is a very serious matter, and one that could result in a conviction if your defense is mishandled. DMV records indicate that there were 55,722 tickets written for DUI charges in Florida in 2011. Well over half of these—33,625 to be exact—resulted in convictions.
A DUI conviction in Florida will result in two types of penalties: administrative and criminal. Hiring a qualified and experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you in your case is one of the best steps you can take to protect your rights and minimize the penalties you may be facing
The administrative penalties for a DUI charge begin almost immediately after your arrest, and well before your case goes to court. When you are arrested for a DUI, the officer will confiscate your license and replace it with a 10-day temporary permit and form. This form explains that you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative review hearing to fight the automatic suspension of your license. This hearing is separate from any criminal legal proceedings in your case.
It is important to contact a qualified DUI defense attorney immediately after your arrest in order to begin the process of fighting to save your license. It is also important to note that even if you win your administrative review hearing and have your license reinstated or are awarded a temporary restricted license, you may still lose your driving privilege if you are found guilty in your criminal trial.
The criminal proceedings in your DUI case start shortly after your arrest. First, you will be required to appear at the arraignment, which typically occurs within a few days of your arrest. At the arraignment, you, or your attorney on your behalf, will enter a plea. If you plead not guilty, your case may go to trial. If your trial results in a conviction, the court will sentence you. If your attorney reaches a plea deal with the prosecution on your behalf, you may face a decreased charge and lesser penalties.
Penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending on the number of infractions on your record, your blood alcohol content and whether or not your DUI resulted in an accident or injury. Many DUIs are misdemeanors, but may still result in jail time, license suspension and even vehicle impoundment.