A DUI in Florida, especially in Palm Beach County, can be a life-altering event, particularly when it leads to an accident. As a first-time offender, you're likely grappling with legal complexities and worried about your future. One critical aspect you need to understand is how a DUI-related accident impacts your car insurance.
Understanding Florida's DUI Penalties and Insurance Implications
In Florida, DUI offenses are taken seriously. Under Florida Statute 316.193, penalties for a first-time DUI can include fines up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to six months. If aggravating factors are present, such as a BAC of 0.15 or higher, penalties escalate. These legal repercussions extend to your car insurance as well.
The Impact of a DUI on Car Insurance Rates in Florida
Following a DUI conviction in Florida, you become a high-risk driver in the eyes of insurance companies. On average, Florida drivers with DUIs pay 63% more for full coverage than those with clean records. This significant increase reflects the heightened risk you now pose.
Finding Insurance Post-DUI in Florida
Securing car insurance after a DUI in Florida can be challenging. Some insurers may refuse coverage, while others like Allstate, Geico, and State Farm, may offer policies but at higher rates. Additionally, Florida requires an FR-44 form for reinstating your license post-DUI, which means higher liability limits and consequently higher premiums.
What is an FR44 in Florida?
FR-44 is a form used only in Florida and Virginia. FR-44 is used by the state to certify the driver meets the required insurance coverage for financial responsibility. This proof of coverage is required for those who are applying to reinstate their driver's license following a license suspension due to a DUI or DWI conviction.
Florida residents who are convicted of a DUI or DWI are required to get an FR-44, and this must be maintained for 3 years before being reinstated. For Drivers who do not have a car and are not listed on an active insurance policy, they may need to reach out to an insurance company to file an FR-44 on their behalf for a non-owner policy. This policy follows the driver, not the vehicle. It can also help get a driver’s license reinstated following a suspension due to a DUI or DWI in Florida.
Who Needs an FR44 in Florida?
An FR-44 may be required in order to have a driver’s license reinstated after a suspension due to a DUI or DWI in Florida. Even just one DUI conviction can result in a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 1-year in Florida. If the first-time DUI conviction resulted in serious bodily injury or death, the penalty can be even more severe.
It’s important to know that if you have been arrested for a DUI with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or greater, your license will be automatically suspended. Your license will also be immediately suspended if you are stopped by the police and refuse to take a BAC test. At this point, you have 10 days from the date of arrest to schedule a hearing and challenge the suspension. After the 10 days, you will lose the right to appeal the driver’s license suspension in Florida. This is another reason why it is crucial that you contact a DUI Attorney as soon as possible following a DUI arrest in Florida.
How Hiring a Florida DUI Attorney Can Help
Our law firm has specialized in DUI Defense in Palm Beach County for 20 years and understands the nuances of Florida's DUI laws and the accompanying insurance complexities. We have a track record of successfully defending first-time offenders, even managing to dismiss charges completely for some clients. Our goal is to minimize the impact of your charges and get you the best outcome possible as you’re facing a challenging time following a DUI.
Hire the Best Palm Beach Gardens Florida DUI Attorney
Over the last 20 years, our office has handled thousands of DUI defense, criminal defense, and personal injury matters throughout all of Palm Beach and Broward Counties. We’re dedicated to providing clients with only the information they need and our 5-star reviews show for it. We take great pride in most of our client reviews praising us for our attention to detail, communication, and most of all, fantastic results. If you’re facing an injury claim or lawsuit after a DUI-related accident in Florida, don’t face it alone. Contact our firm for a free legal consultation, 24/7 online or by phone. We are committed to guiding you through this complex legal process, offering personalized, compassionate legal representation every step of the way.You can also download our free guide, for immediate legal information by a trusted Florida DUI Attorney.