If you have found yourself arrested for the first time for a Florida DUI, you are undoubtedly going through an emotional time. Those emotions can range from anxiety to fear, anger, frustration, and most probably uncertainty. What will happen as you progress through the criminal justice system? What are you up against in terms of penalties, both criminal and otherwise? If you have been arrested in Tallahassee, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, Orlando, Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, or Destin, you can turn to The Virga Law Firm,P.A. for answers and guidance in navigating through all of this. You should know that such an arrest calls for the services of a trusted criminal defender who can protect your legal rights and increase your chances for the most favorable outcome possible.
At The Virga Law Firm, we have been providing Floridians with experienced and skilled legal representation for many years. Our seasoned legal team have achieved top ratings from legal industry organizations, such as The National Trial Lawyers, the Top 40 under 40, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and listings by Super Lawyers. Those kinds of recognition demonstrate the quality of service we provide as well as the legal ability you will find at our firm. We believe in thoroughly investigating all aspects of your case to uncover facts and circumstances that can be challenged in court. Your attorney will look into all aspects of your arrest followed by a careful and exhaustive building of a defense strategy. That strategy will be aimed at helping to put you in the best legal position by casting doubt on the state’s case against you.
Penalties for a First-Offense DUI
The following is what you will be facing in a first-offense DUI:
- Potentially six months of jail time if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured .08 up to .14 percent
- Potentially nine months of jail time of your BAC measured .15 percent or higher
- Potentially nine months of jail time if you had a passenger under the age of 18 in your car at the time of your DUI
- Up to a year if you were involved in a traffic accident that caused minor injuries or property damage
- Up to five years of incarceration if you caused a traffic accident that resulted in serious bodily injury
- Fines ranging from $500 up to $1,000. These fines could range up to $5,000 if your DUI involved a minor in the car, a BAC above .15 percent, property damage, or serious physical injuries
- A minimum of 50 hours of community service
- Completion of a DUI education program (known as DUI “school”) and/or treatment
- A license suspension that can range from six months up to year depending on the circumstances; most first offenses result in a six-month suspension while refusals to undergo chemical tests can result in a one-year suspension
- Vehicle impoundment for up to 10 days
- An order at the discretion of the court for an ignition interlock device to be installed and used for a minimum of six months
Beyond this, you will also face the collateral penalty of having a permanent criminal record with a DUI on it. This can cause difficulties for you later on when applying for jobs, housing, educational aid, or professional licenses.
Second, third, and subsequent DUI convictions will result in harsher penalties.
Ensure You Have Proper Legal Representation
As shown above, a first-time DUI is a serious matter. It is not something you want to face alone or without legal help that is competent and committed to your best interests. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A.you can entrust your case to a professional who understands the high stakes and can apply knowledge, experience, and skill to your defense.
Contact us at (800) 822-5170 to learn more about how we can assist you today.