Mandatory Minimums: Are You At Risk?
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Florida is known across the country for its harsh mandatory minimums. Although mandatory minimum sentencing is most often associated with drug charges, it can play a role in other offenses as well. One of those offenses is a DUI charge. In the state of Florida, a DUI is classified as a criminal offense. When someone is convicted of a DUI in Florida, they will face mandatory penalties. In addition to the category of mandatory penalties, there are several other punishments that a judge can choose to impose based on their discretion.
Which DUI Penalties are Mandatory in Florida?
One of the reasons it’s so important for people to enlist the help of a Broward DUI lawyer is there are six mandatory DUI penalties in Florida. Unlike other states that provide quite a bit of leniency for first-time DUI offenders, Florida still imposes these penalties.
The six penalties that are classified as mandatory are car impoundment, driver’s license suspension, DUI school & alcohol treatment, fines, 50 hours community service and probation. As you can see, those are very real penalties that even a first-time offender will be up against.
On top of those six mandatory penalties, there are two more punishments a judge can impose based on their discretion in regards to a specific case. The two optional punishments in Florida are ignition interlock devices and incarceration. Many people are shocked to learn that a first-time DUI offense can carry jail time in Florida.
What are the Mandatory Minimums That Florida Imposes?
Not only does the state of Florida have penalties that are imposed for every DUI conviction, but many of those penalties include mandatory minimums. The first example of a mandatory minimum for DUI is probation. An individual convicted of a DUI will face up to twelve months of probation.
The second mandatory minimum is for driver’s license suspension. Refusing to submit during an arrest will trigger a mandatory one-year suspension. A standard first offense is punished by a suspension of six to twelve months. Finally, even if it’s a first conviction, DUI offenders will pay a minimum of $500 in fines. That amount can go all the way up to $1,000.
Although incarceration doesn’t have a mandatory minimum for a first-time offense, it’s worth noting that as long as a six-month sentence can be imposed for any DUI offense. That length can extend to nine months if a driver’s BAC (blood alcohol content) was over .15.
Because Florida takes such an aggressive stance towards DUI offenses and has a variety of mandatory minimums in place, being arrested for this offense can put you in the position of facing life-altering consequences. If you want to defend your freedom and protect yourself, there’s no substitute for enlisting professional legal help.
As a former Broward County prosecutor and an expert in Florida DUI law, Attorney Gabriela Novo will aggressively work on your behalf to prepare the strongest legal defense to the charges you face. To arrange a free consultation with an experienced Fort Lauderdale / Broward DUI lawyer, call Attorney Gabriela C. Novo today at (954) 866-7902.