Florida DUI Laws and Penalties 2024 Explained

Being pulled over by a police officer can be a scary experience. It can be even more terrifying if one is charged with a DUI. A DUI can affect many aspects of one’s life and can even result in going to jail, but not every charge has to end in a punishment. Florida DUI Lawyers can help your chances when negotiating your DUI charges by attempting to dismiss your charges entirely or reduce your sentence for fewer consequences.

What Is a DUI?

A DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. In Florida, a person can be given a DUI charge if they are found driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or more. A person’s BAC level is typically determined with blood tests, breath tests, or field sobriety tests. If convicted, a person can be subject to penalties depending on the number of offenses they have committed:

  • First Offense: An individual’s first DUI offense can result in up to 6 months in jail, $500-$1000 in fines, and a 6-month-1 year license suspension.
  • Second Offense: If the individual is charged with a DUI a second time, they are subject to up to 12 months in jail, $1000-$2000 in fines, and a 6-month-1 year license suspension. They are also required to place an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their car for two years once their license is returned to them to maintain driving privileges.
  • Third Offense: The third DUI has different penalties depending on the time frame. If the offense was committed at least ten years after any other offense, the penalties are similar to the second offense with higher fines. If the offense was committed within the last ten years of a previous DUI, the individual must serve at least a 30-day jail sentence but could be sentenced up to 5 years. Their license is also suspended for at least 10 years.

Most DUIs are considered misdemeanors. Any DUI that is a third or greater offense committed within ten years after a previous offense is considered a felony. If convicted of a felony, the crime stays on your criminal record forever. You also lose the right to vote and own a firearm. Felonies affect future job prospects, housing applications, and many other aspects of life. A criminal defense attorney might be able to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Aggravated DUIs

Certain situations qualify as aggravated DUIs, meaning they are more serious than a standard DUI. If the driver has a minor in the car or tests as having a greater than 0.15% BAC level, then their DUI is normally considered aggravated. Aggravated DUIs have more serious penalties than traditional DUIs:

  • First Offense: If your first DUI is an aggravated DUI, you might face up to 9 months in jail, $1000-$2000 in fines, a 6-month-1 year license suspension, and a 6-month IID requirement.
  • Second Offense: A second aggravated DUI can result in up to 12 months of jail time, $2,000-$4000 in fines, a 6-month-1 year license suspension, and a 2-year IID requirement.
  • After your second offense, the penalty limits for aggravated DUIs are the same, with higher fines.

Additional Penalties

If driving under the influence results in damage to other people or property, there may be additional consequences:

  • Property Damage: Damaging property during a DUI earns another misdemeanor charge, an additional $1000 in fines, and up to one year in jail.
  • Injury: If you injure others due to a DUI accident, it is considered a third-degree felony. This also results in 4-5 years in prison (not jail), up to $5000 in fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license for at least 3 years.
  • Death: If someone dies due to a crash where the driver is under the influence, they are charged with a second-degree felony called DUI manslaughter. This can result in anywhere between 4-15 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and getting their driver’s license taken away permanently.


Q: How Strict Are Florida DUI Laws?

A: The severity of punishment for a DUI largely depends on how many times the individual has committed a DUI in the past. The more DUIs they have committed, the higher the penalties are. On the third offense, the severity depends on how quickly the DUIs occurred. A third DUI that occurred within ten years of a previous offense carries much more serious charges than a third DUI that occurred ten years after the previous offense.

Q: Can a First-Time DUI Be Dismissed in Florida?

A: If an individual in Florida receives DUI charges and works with a criminal defense attorney, they can sometimes get those charges dismissed. In some cases, the charges can be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, or the amount of fines or jail time their client must pay can be reduced. The outcome of a person’s case highly depends on the unique context of the situation. Contact a DUI attorney for more precise information about your situation.

Q: What Are DUI Conviction Penalties in Florida?

A: DUI penalties in Florida vary depending on how many times you have previously committed a DUI. Most DUIs come with a certain amount of jail time, fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license for a period of time. Aggravated first-time DUIs and any DUI after the first one also require the driver to place an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their vehicle to maintain their driving privileges.

Q: Can You Plead Down a DUI in Florida?

A: In many instances, a criminal defense attorney can reduce a DUI charge. It is possible that the traffic stop in which the DUI test took place was not conducted correctly. The officer could have also not read the individual’s rights or administered the blood alcohol level test improperly. This can only happen if the individual being charged does not plead guilty. To maximize your chances of a reduced sentence, contact a DUI lawyer.

We Can Help

Don’t fight your DUI charges alone. Working with an experienced attorney can help reduce fines, jail time, and license suspensions. Schedule a consultation with Jeff Marshall Law to review your options. The attorneys at Jeff Marshall Law can help compose a legal strategy suited to your individual needs to get you an effective outcome.


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