DUI is an offense under Florida law that is proven by impairment of unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol levels of .08 or higher. A DUI, DWI, or even a refusal to provide a breath or blood test sample is a serious charge and can even lead to jail time. If you've been charged with DUI, an experienced Palm Beach criminal defense attorney can defend you against your charge.
Will I Have to Serve Jail Time for My DUI/DWI?
Jail time for DUI or DWI entirely depends on a case-by-case basis but is not mandatory on a first offense. Although, DUI laws in Florida are everchanging and becoming increasingly more strict each year. If you were arrested for a second DUI within five years of your first arrest, you may be subjected to a mandatory ten days in jail along with mandatory probation. Maximum sentencing for a second DUI offense in Florida can include:
- Up to nine months for a standard second DUI
- Up to one year for a second DUI with a BAC of .15% or more
- Up to one year for a second DUI with a passenger under 18 years old
- Up to one year for all DUIs (including a second) if there was an accident involving property damage or minor injuries, and
- Up to five years for all DUIs where there was an accident involving "serious bodily injury"
While a first offense DUI can be looked at as a bad mistake, a one-time occurrence especially with a clean record, this is not likely to happen with a second offense. You can learn more about second offense DUIs in this video:
Alternatives to Jail in a First-Time DUI
While jail time is possible even for a first-offense DUI depending on the circumstances, there are possible alternatives to avoid jail time especially with the help of a Palm Beach DUI defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney's goal is to have DUI charges dismissed, though this may not always be possible despite best efforts. An experienced attorney, however, can fight on your behalf for a more favorable outcome than jail.
In Florida, it is at the judge's discretion to order alternative sentences which can count as a replacement towards jail time. Usually, these requests will only be granted if the DUI was a misdemeanor, non-violent, and the offender has no prior violent criminal record. Some possible alternatives to jail can include DUI diversion programs. These programs often involve:
- Various types of community service work done in exchange for credit towards a jail sentence
- An electronic monitoring program
- Drug or alcohol treatment
Second offense DUIs (within five years of the first) in Florida are not eligible for Florida DUI diversion programs, but can still have the ability for the judge to grant inpatient treatment in lieu of jail depending on the case.
Can I Get a DUI Off My Record?
A DUI, just like any other criminal offense in Florida is a public record. Usually, a DUI charge is not eligible to be sealed and expunged unless it is reduced to a lesser charge. A dropped or not guilty finding is eligible to be expunged. To find out if you are eligible to have your case sealed and expunged, contact our office today.
Palm Beach First DUI Offense Attorney
If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI, feeling overwhelmed and anxious is normal. Consulting with an experienced DUI defense attorney in Palm Beach County can provide you with the best course of action for your case. Contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 to have your case reviewed today.
If you're not ready to call us, we offer a free guide 'What You Must Know About Your DUI Case Before You Do Anything' which attacks DUI myths that could potentially hurt your case.
The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky handles driving under the influence (DUI) cases in all of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Loxahatchee, Royal Plam Beach, Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Greenacres and all of Broward County.