When you are arrested for a DUI in St. Petersburg, Florida, then the consequences can last a lifetime. The penalties for a DUI conviction have become stricter over time. In addition to jail, fines, and the suspension of your license, you can also earn a criminal record that could make employment, licensing, and education more difficult.
In the unfortunate situation where you find yourself charged with drunk driving, it’s important to get legal representation as soon as possible. When you get the right help quickly enough, then you have a chance to get your charges reduced or even dropped. But waiting can worsen the consequences, even without any prior offenses.
A DUI conviction has long-reaching consequences that vary from case to case determining severity and punishment. The rules are stipulated under Florida DUI laws state the punishment for the first time DUI offense clearly, along with the consequences of further convictions.
Your first conviction can earn you a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months of imprisonment. Additional punishments can be stacked on top of these including up to 50 hours of community service, mandatory DUI school, treatment, a year on probation, and the suspension of your license for up to a year. A judge can also order your car impounded for up to 10 days.
For a second offense, you risk up to $2,000 in costs and fines along with jail time of up to ten mandatory days if a prior offense occurred within five years. You will need to attend DUI school and your driver’s license can be revoked for up to five years. You may also require serving a full year of probation.
Fines go above $2,000, a mandatory 30 days in jail if this conviction occurs within ten years of the last, and up to a year in county jail. You also risk a year of probation, DUI school, treatment, and the revocation of your driver’s license for up to ten years.
If you leave the scene of an accident, seriously harm someone, or have your third DUI occur within ten years of the others, then a conviction warrants much more serious felony punishments. A conviction may bring a fine of up to $10,000 and 15 years in prison.
If you become convicted of a DUI, then you may also need to install an ignition interlock device unto your car. The device will need to stay for a time period determined by the court depending on the BAC (blood alcohol content) level. If a minor was in a car during the incident, the punishments can be added on or increased. The consequences of a conviction go on and on before the long term effects come in outside the punishments of the court.
Long Term Consequences
DUI convictions make it difficult to find work and a conviction can result in the loss of your job, especially if you are required to drive. Future employers will also be able to see the conviction on your record. A felony or even a misdemeanor DUI conviction can cost you a job despite your efforts. This goes even further with college admissions, financial aid, and even housing applications where landlords can take a look at your record.
In order to avoid suffering from the many consequences of a DUI conviction, in St. Petersburg FL, it is important to get legal representation. If you or a loved one are in need of an attorney, legal help like the kind offered by Christopher M. Sierra can be the representation you need. Call today and schedule a free case evaluation to make sure you get the legal DUI defense you deserve.