A DUI comes with many consequences. Convicted drivers face fines, jail time, and losing their license. A DUI license suspension in Florida can be one of the longest-lasting consequences. Convicted DUI offenders can lose their license for a few months or a lifetime.

But, there are ways to minimize the impact of DUI license suspension in Florida.

An experienced DUI attorney can guide you through the process and limit the length of your suspension. To see how a DUI attorney can help, consider the potential timelines for losing your license and your options for getting it back.

Driver’s License Revocation Schedule in Florida

Florida law dictates how long a person should lose their license for a DUI offense. The guidelines are outlined under Florida Statute 316.193. Revocation times increase with severity of offense and frequency of offense. For example, first offense DUIs have less consequence than a third or fourth conviction.

Consider the driver’s license revocation timelines associated with each DUI conviction in Florida.

First Conviction — Without bodily injury

  • Minimum 180 days revocation
  • Maximum one year

First Conviction — With bodily injury

  • Minimum three years revocation

Second Conviction — Within five years of first conviction

  • Minimum five years revocation
  • Can apply for hardship after one year

Second Conviction — More than five years after first conviction

  • Minimum 180 days revocation
  • Maximum one year revocation

Third Conviction — Within ten years of second conviction

  • Minimum ten years revocation
  • Can apply for hardship after two years

Third Conviction — More than ten years after second conviction

  • Minimum 180 days revocation
  • Maximum one year revocation

Fourth Conviction — Regardless of dates of previous convictions

  • Mandatory permanent revocation
  • Can apply for hardship after five years
  • Revocation period begins the date of release, if incarcerated

DUI manslaughter 

  • Mandatory permanent revocation
  • Can apply for hardship after five years, if no prior DUI convictions

Manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury, or vehicular homicide

  • Minimum three years revocation

Driver’s License Revocation If You Refuse to Take DUI Test

The duration of a license suspension may also be impacted if you refuse to take a DUI test. There are automatic license suspension penalties if you refuse to take a DUI test.

If you refuse to take a breath test when suspected of a DUI:

  • Your license may be suspended for one year if it is your first offense. You can apply for a hardship license after 90 days.
  • Your license may be suspended for up to 18 months if it is your second or subsequent offense. You cannot apply for a hardship license.

Related: Arrested for a DUI in Florida? Here’s What to Do Next 

What To If You Have a DUI License Suspension in Florida

If you have or are facing a DUI license suspension in Florida, you may have options. Depending on your situation, a DUI attorney may be able to help you get your driving rights back or fight the charges against you.

Apply for a DUI Hardship License in Florida

If you have been convicted of a DUI, you may be able to apply for a hardship license. A hardship license is a driver’s license that gives you limited access to driving privileges. For example, it may permit you to drive to work, school, or other essential predetermined locations (such as a doctor’s office, grocery store, church, etc.).

In order to receive a hardship license, you must:

  • Be eligible based on your offense or offenses. The timelines listed above explain when drivers are eligible for a hardship license based on their offense or offenses. In some cases, hardship licenses are not available due to the severity of the offense or the frequency of offenses.
  • Enroll in DUI school. You may be required to show proof that you are enrolled in a state-approved DUI school or have completed a program.
  • Fill out the Florida hardship license application. Complete the proper paperwork and file it along with a filing fee.
  • Pay additional fees. You will be responsible for a $130 administration fee, $45 reinstatement fee, and potentially any other fees set by the court or DMV.

Challenge the License Suspension

After DUI arrest, you have ten days to challenge a driver’s license suspension and request a hearing. The hearing will take place within thirty days of your request. During the hearing, you can showcase evidence that proves your license was illegally suspended.

Reasons why your license was illegally suspended may include:

  • There was no probable cause for the traffic stop.
  • The officer didn’t not properly explain your rights.
  • There are disputed breath or blood tests.

You only have ten days to challenge a DUI license suspension in Florida. It is important that you seek a good criminal defense attorney right away if you want to fight the charges against you.

Get Help with a DUI License Suspension in Florida

If you have lost your license due to a DUI or are facing a license suspension, talk to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. A strong legal defense may be able to help you lessen charges, dismiss charges, keep your license or get it back, and get a DUI removed from your record.

Don’t leave your future up to the courts alone. Work side-by-side with someone who will fight for you to have your rights restored as quickly as possible. Talk to TJ Grimaldi about how he and his team can help you fight your DUI charges and license suspension.

Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.

If you’re facing criminal charges, you’re likely dealing with a misdemeanor or felony charge. You are probably wondering what the difference is and how your case will be different depending on the type of charge.

Let’s look at how misdemeanor cases differ from felony cases and what you can expect depending on where your case falls.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony: What’s Worse?

Both misdemeanors and felonies are criminal charge classifications. Misdemeanor charges are less serious than felony charges. Felonies are the most serious type of crimes and have the most serious punishments.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony: What’s the Difference?

The primary difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is in the seriousness of the charges and potential consequences. The seriousness of the crime will help determine if it is a felony or a misdemeanor. The criminal history of the charged party will also influence the type of charge assigned to the crime. For example, a first-offense DUI may be charged as a misdemeanor, whereas a third-offense DUI may be classified as a felony.

Misdemeanor and felony charges also have different legal procedures. With a misdemeanor charge, you will need to appear before a judge (but no jury). With a felony charge, you will need to appear before a judge for an indictment or preliminary trial and then potentially have a jury trial.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps   

Examples Misdemeanors and Felonies

Depending on the jurisdiction, the following crimes are typical examples of misdemeanor and felony crimes.

Felony Crimes

Felony charges are serious and typically carry potential jail terms that range from a year to life in prison. Some examples of felony crimes include:

  • Assault
  • Homicide
  • Theft and property crimes
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Sex offenses
  • Grand theft
  • Major drug possession

Related: Facing Florida Drug Possession Charges? 6 Things You Need to Know   

Misdemeanor Crimes

Misdemeanors are less serious but can still carry potential jail terms from five days up to one year. Some common examples of misdemeanor crimes include:

  • Vandalism
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Battery
  • Shoplifting
  • Giving alcohol to a minor
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Minor drug possession

Infractions and Ordinance Violations

It’s worth noting that there are two other legal offenses that are punishable by the law: infractions and ordinance violations. Both infractions and ordinations are less serious than misdemeanors. They are often referred to as petty offenses and come with a fine or administrative penalty. They may include:

  • Traffic violations
  • Littering
  • Jaywalking
  • Drinking in public
  • Fishing/hunting without a license
  • Building permit violations
  • Walking an unleashed dog
  • Parking violations
  • Smoking in non-smoking area
  • Noise violation
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Trespassing

If these infractions are serious or repeat offenses, they may be moved up to a more serious misdemeanor charge.

Was I Charged with a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

To determine what your charges are, don’t rely on what types of crimes are typically considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Look at your official case information to determine what the case has been classified as. Specifics of the case will determine whether it is officially a misdemeanor or felony.

As previously noted, a crime that is typically classified as a misdemeanor can be moved up to a felony charge if it is a repeat offense. On the other hand, a crime that is typically a felony charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor in certain situations.

Can I Fight Misdemeanor or Felony Charges?

While misdemeanors are less serious than felony charges, all criminal charges are serious and should be handled carefully.

With the right defense and a good criminal defense attorney, you can limit the impact the charges will have on your life. You can fight to:

  • Reduce the charges. You can fight to turn a felony charge into a misdemeanor.
  • Lessen the sentencing. You can plead your case to receive lighter consequences such as less jail time or lower fines.
  • Expunge your records. If you are convicted of a crime, you can work to remove the charges from your criminal record. (Learn more about how you can get a DUI off your record in Florida.)
  • Dismiss the charges. In the event that you were improperly charged or your case was not appropriately handled by law enforcement, you may be able to get your charges dismissed.

Misdemeanor vs. felony — whichever charge you’re facing charges, one thing is certain: an attorney can help you get the best possible outcome. You will be more likely to get a positive outcome when you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. They can develop a strong case based on the facts and fight for your best interest.

If you’re dealing with misdemeanor or felony charges, don’t wait to seek legal help.

Contact TJ Grimaldi for a free consultation today to find out how our law firm can help you get a positive outcome that lessens the impact of your charges on your life. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.

Dealing with a Florida drug possession charge is serious. You can face lengthy jail time and expensive fines if you are convicted. It’s imperative that you understand your situation if you find yourself facing drug charges.

If you have recently been charged with drug possession in Florida, here are some of the most important things you need to know.

#1) Drug charges can include more than just possession.

While drug possession is one of the most common drug charges, it only refers to being in possession of a controlled substance or a substance that requires a prescription (when you don’t have a prescription). If you’re facing drug charges, you may be facing possession charges as well as other types of drug-related charges such as:

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: Being in possession of equipment or tools that are used to prepare, use, or conceal drugs
  • Drug Possession with Intent to Sell: Being in possession of drugs with additional evidence that shows the drugs are not for personal use but rather for selling to other individuals
  • Manufacturing: Having tools or a process in place to develop controlled substances
  • Trafficking/Distribution: Selling, delivering, transporting, or otherwise managing a large amount of a controlled substance

If you are facing Florida drug possession charges in addition to any of these other drug charges, your case can result in more severe consequences.

#2) Drug charges relate to street drugs and prescribed drugs.

Drug charges refer to the possession of illegal substances known as street drugs such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Marijuana

Drug charges may also refer to the possession of legal, controlled substances if the person in possession doesn’t have a prescription. These drugs include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Oxycodone
  • Xanax
  • Steroids
  • Morphine
  • Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but you must have a valid license to distribute or a prescription to have it in your possession.

#3) Drug charges can be misdemeanors or felonies.

Florida drug possession charges can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors and felonies are both criminal crimes, but felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors and often come with harsher punishments.

Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony will depend on the amount of the substance you have and what specific charges you face. Misdemeanors are usually applied to situations where there is a small amount of drugs intended for only personal use. Whereas felonies often apply when there is a large amount of a controlled substance and an intent to distribute.

#4) You can face serious consequences for drug charges.

Whether you face a misdemeanor or felony Florida drug charge, you can face consequences such as:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Loss of professional licensure
  • Deportation

#5) The state must prove three things in a Florida drug possession case.

If you are facing drug charges, the state must prove its case to convict you of the crime. According to Florida Statute Section 893.13, the state must prove three things in order to win their case. They must:

  1. Prove that the substance is illegal.
  2. Prove that the defendant knew that the drug was illegal.
  3. Prove that the defendant had knowledge and control of the drug.

#6) You can form a strong defense for Florida drug possession charges.

If you are charged with a drug offense, your life is not ruined. You can form a defense in your case that limits charges and creates a better outcome. There are four primary arguments that can help you win your case. You can prove that:

  • You didn’t know the substance was illegal or controlled. Show that you didn’t know the substance was in your possession.
  • You have a medical prescription for the substance. Show that you have a medical prescription for the substance.
  • The police used entrapment techniques in the arrest. Law enforcement purposefully encouraged you to commit a crime you would have otherwise not committed.
  • Unlawful search and seizure were used in the arrest. There was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and you were unlawfully searched.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Use an experienced attorney to fight Florida drug possession charges.

Florida drug possession charges are serious. They can affect you for the rest of your life and should not be taken lightly. But, that is not to say that there is no reason for hope.

With the right defense, you may be able to decrease your charges or even have your case dismissed. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

The sooner you start working with a criminal defense attorney, the sooner you can start crafting a case to fight against your drug charges. 

If you’re facing Florida drug possession charges, get started on crafting your defense right away. Contact TJ Grimaldi today to schedule your free consultation, and see how TJ can use his experience to fight for you and get the best possible outcome.

Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.

If you find yourself in legal trouble, you want the best attorney by your side. This is especially true if the case is in criminal court. You want the best criminal defense attorney fighting for you. A good criminal defense attorney can directly impact the momentum of your case and help you get the best outcome possible. 

But, how do you know which attorney will be the best for your criminal defense case? How can you determine who will fight for you and have the resources to best defend your case? 

You can look for these seven qualities. 

The Qualities of Top Criminal Defense Attorneys 

If you find yourself in legal trouble and searching for the best criminal defense attorney, look for someone who has these qualifications, characteristics, and resources. An attorney with these qualities can help you get the best possible outcome by working to reduce your charges, make plea deals, or prove your innocence. 

#1) Criminal Law Experience 

Your criminal law case can have repercussions that impact the rest of your life. You want your case in the hands of someone who knows how to handle it properly. Look for a criminal defense attorney who has been working within the system for an extended period of time. Ensure that they not only have experience in law, but that they have experience in the type of criminal law related to your case such as: 

  • DUI
  • Theft and property crimes
  • Traffic citations 
  • Drug offenses
  • Sex offenses
  • Violent crimes
  • Weapons offenses

Recommended Reading: Arrested for a DUI in Florida? Here’s What to Do Next 

#2) Community Ties

The best criminal defense attorneys have ties to their community. Connections in the community can be helpful while litigating a criminal case as the lawyer can speak with local leaders to get resources and support for your case. Look for an attorney who has good standing in the community and connections with offices and officials that could impact the direction of your case. 

#3) Personal Dedication to Clients 

Many law practices have dozens of attorneys who take on cases without offering much personal attention. You may go in to meet with a primary attorney, but then never see them again once you are assigned to other lawyers within the organization. Seek an attorney who will give you the personal attention you deserve and continue to work with you one-on-one throughout your case. 

#4) Trustworthiness 

The success of your criminal law case may rely on how much you share with your attorney. What you tell them (or don’t tell them) could have a major impact on your case. Work with someone who you feel comfortable with and can talk to and trust. They will be giving you advice and recommendations about your future and potential freedom. You must be able to trust their advice and share all of the details that can impact your case’s outcome. 

#5) Creative Thinking

The best criminal defense attorneys know how to think outside of the box to help defend your case in any way possible. You don’t want an attorney who simply goes through the motions. You want someone who can think critically and creatively about your case to see angles and opportunities that can support your side.

#6) Access to Legal Resources 

When you are involved in a criminal case, you are going up against the State of Florida and their vast access to resources. You need a criminal defense attorney who has similar access to the resources you will need to properly defend your case. Look for an attorney who has an affiliation with a larger firm that can provide resources for detailed and complex cases.

#7) Payment Plans 

Cost is always a concern when entering into a legal matter. You may want to find the cheapest option to keep your costs low, but this could be a mistake. The results of your case could impact you for the rest of your life. You don’t want the cheapest option; you want the best option. So rather than look for the best price, look for an attorney who offers payment plans or flat-fee pricing that allows you to get the best defense while still factoring in your financial situation. 

Recommended Reading: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps   

Talk to The Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Tampa 

If you are entering a legal matter, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, you want and need the best criminal defense attorney by your side. Consider the qualities of top defense lawyers, and then interview a few options to see who best fits the description.

Start by talking to TJ Grimaldi about how he fits these qualifications and can support your case. 

TJ has years of criminal law experience fighting for clients in the Tampa area. He works directly with his clients and offers a personal dedication that builds the trust needed during stressful criminal cases. He is a creative thinker with access to abundant resources at his partnering law firm McIntyre Thanasides. And, he works with all of his clients to make sure cost doesn’t stop them from receiving the best defense possible.

Talk to him today during a free consultation to see if he is the best criminal defense attorney for your case. Request your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

If you are arrested for a crime, it’s imperative that you act quickly. Everything you do from the minute the police approach you can have an impact on your case. Knowing what to do and when to do it can lead to lesser chargers and a better overall outcome — especially if you are innocent or falsely accused. Taking the right steps after being arrested for a crime is even more important if you are incorrectly charged.

Make sure you know how to protect yourself if you are faced with criminal charges.

Follow these steps immediately after being arrested for a crime.

#1) Don’t make any statements.

When police officers believe a crime has been committed, they begin to collect evidence right away. They ask questions and perform an initial investigation to decide if something illegal occurred. As you go through this process, keep your comments to a minimum.

Anything you say can be used as evidence. You don’t want to provide any information that can be used against you in the case. Don’t provide an opportunity for your comments or actions to be taken out of context. Stay as quiet as possible.

If the officer believes something illegal has occurred, they will conduct an official arrest. At that time, they will read your Miranda Rights. Once these rights are read, you don’t have to say anything else to the offices. Don’t say anything else until you speak to an attorney.

Related: Stopped and Arrested for a DUI in Florida? Here’s What to Do Next   

#2) Get ready for the arraignment hearing.

When you are arrested for a crime, you will be taken to the jail and “booked.” During the booking processes, you will be assigned an arraignment hearing. Arraignment hearings are usually scheduled within the next 48-72 hours. You may wait in jail until the hearing or pay bail to be released before the hearing.

During the hearing, you will stand in front of a judge as the charges against you are read. At that time, you will enter a plea of not guilty, no contest, or guilty. You will need to have a plan for what to do during the hearing.

That is why step three is so important.

#3) Get an attorney involved right away.

While you are awaiting your hearing, it’s imperative that you talk to a criminal defense attorney right away. You are permitted to make a phone call. Use it to contact an attorney who can advise you on what to say during the hearing or be by your side for the event.

The state begins working on your conviction right away, so you need to start working on your defense immediately. Whether you are facing a felony or misdemeanor, getting an attorney involved from the start can help you set up a plan for defending your cases at the highest level.

#4) Write down everything that happened and collect evidence.

While your memory is fresh, write down everything that happened when you were arrested for the crime. List details that happened leading up to the arrest and during the arrest. Include any relevant information that might add context to the event or situation.

Also, collect any evidence that helps your side of the case. The police may have collected evidence during the arrest, but you can collect your own. Think about any other facts or information that can support your side of the case.

You will need this information when you meet with your attorney to develop a defense strategy for your case.

#5) Give your attorney as much information as you can.

When you meet with your attorney for the first time, be prepared to give them as much information as possible. Share all of the details you wrote down and all of the evidence you collected.

Each detail can potentially be used in your defense so don’t be afraid to overshare. Your attorney will use the information you provide to create arguments against your chargers and develop a defense for your case.

The more information you share, the better your chances of finding details that will help your case.

#6) Be patient.

Everyone wants their criminal case to be over as fast as possible, but that does not always lead to the best outcome. Rushing through the process can result in missing opportunities to make pleas, lessen your charges, or even get your case dismissed.

Understand that there is a process and if you have a qualified defense attorney by your side, you will be most likely to end with the best possible result.

If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Act Fast

If you’re arrested for a crime, time is of the essence. The state will immediately start building their case against you. You need to start immediately building your case to defend yourself.

Don’t waste time. Talk to an experienced criminal attorney who knows what you need to do to build a case that will lead to the best possible outcome. Get help today. Call TJ Grimaldi to discuss your case. All consultations are 100% free, so don’t delay. Start making your defense plan today. Request your free consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Getting arrested for a DUI is a serious event. Driving under the influence is a crime that can lead to fines, license suspension, or even jail time. 

It’s important to know what steps to take if you find yourself in this situation. Being proactive and handling the situation correctly from the start is how you can get the best possible outcome. 

If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Florida, take these steps to protect your case and yourself. 

#1) Cooperate with police — but know your rights.

If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, you are going to be asked to cooperate with the officer’s initial investigation. They are going to ask questions that assess the situation and gather evidence.

Always cooperate with police officers while keeping in mind that you need to protect yourself. Be mindful of any statements you make. A dashcam is almost always filming the encounter, so any action you take can be recorded and used during your case. 

#2) Keep your comments to a minimum. 

While you should corporate with police questioning and requests, provide the bare minimum of details. You don’t want to inadvertently admit to anything that can be used against you or provide law enforcement with any more evidence than they already have. 

#3) State your limitations. 

During the first few moments with officers, let them know about any limitations that you have that could impact their assessment of the situation. Inform the officers if you have any disabilities, injuries, or illnesses that could prevent you from performing or impact your ability to perform a field sobriety test. 

For example, if you have a knee injury, an officer could mistake a limp for evidence that you are under the influence. Provide any information that could add context to how you perform during the field sobriety test. 

#4) Consider skipping the sobriety test. 

In some situations, it may be in your best interest to skip the sobriety test altogether. If you believe that the DUI charge has merit and that you will fail the test, it can benefit you to refuse it. 

It’s important to note that refusing to take a sobriety test — whether it is a field sobriety test or a chemical test — has consequences. You will likely lose your license and may receive additional charges. 

But, if you know that you will perform the sobriety test poorly, you may give the state more evidence against you by taking it. If you are certain that you will not pass the sobriety test, respectfully refuse it. 

#5) Once charged, invoke your right for an attorney.

Once the officers decide to arrest you for a DUI, they will read you your constitutional rights. Miranda Rights provide your right to remain silent for the rest of the encounter. You can remain silent to prevent providing any additional evidence against you.

If you are arrested for a DUI, refuse to speak to anyone else and request to call an attorney. 

#6) Request a DMV hearing. 

When you are charged with a DUI, you immediately lose your license. You have ten days to request a DMV hearing and file for a hardship license. A hardship license gives you the ability to drive while waiting for your case to be resolved. 

To get a hardship license, you must apply within ten days of a DUI arrest. 

A failure to do so will waive your right and prevent you from being able to get a license throughout the duration of your case. It’s essential that you request a DMV hearing and apply within ten days of being charged with a DUI. 

#7) Start your defense right away.   

Whether this is a first-offense DUI or you have been through this experience before, it is imperative that you contact an experienced DUI attorney and start your defense right away. 

A DUI can stay on your record for 75 years in Florida. It can result in your losing your license, and it can lead to thousands of dollars in fines. To decrease the impact that this event can have on your life, talk to an attorney right away. 

An experienced DUI attorney can help you look at your case and find ways to produce the best possible outcome. They can work to reduce your charges, lessen the impact of your charges, or even clear your record. 

If you feel you were unjustly charged with a DUI, it is even more imperative that you talk to a  criminal defense attorney right away. If there was an unwarranted stop or a mishandled case, you need someone who can fight for your best interest from day one.  

Arrested for a DUI in Florida? Get Advice Today.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, don’t wait to get legal advice. Each day that passes is one day less for you to put together a defense for your case. 

Don’t wait. Talk to an experienced DUI attorney today. Get your free consultations with TJ Grimaldi. Request your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today. 

If you’ve recently been charged with or convicted of a DUI, you probably have a lot of questions about the long-term consequences. From “how long does a DUI stay on my record?” to “how can I get a DUI off my record?” — the list of questions can go on and on. 

At TJ Grimaldi, Attorney at Law, we know this is a confusing and complicated time, and we’re here to help you navigate through the difficult questions so you know what to expect in your future. 

Below you will find answers to common DUI questions. For specific information about your unique case, please contact our office for your free consultation and speak directly with TJ about the potential impacts of your DUI charge or conviction. 

What Does It Mean to Have a DUI on My “Record”?

People often refer to a singular “record” when talking about charges after a DUI. But, what is a “record”? 

Most commonly, the “record” refers to your criminal record. Charges on your personal criminal record may show up in background checks when you apply for jobs, seek a professional license, or apply for certain types of insurance or loans. 

Another “record” that is affected by a DUI is your driving record. Your driving record impacts how much you pay for auto insurance and whether or not you can get a license. 

How Long Does a DUI Stay on My Record in Florida? 

The answer to the question, “how long does a DUI stay on my record?” varies by state.

Each state has different DUI laws that affect how long a DUI will stay on your criminal record. In some states, a DUI may only stay on your criminal record for ten years, while in other states, it may stay on your record for life. In Florida, the laws are very strict. 

A DUI conviction in Florida stays on your criminal record for 75 years. 

The length of time that a DUI can stay on your driving record also varies by state. It can be on your record as short as five years or as long as your lifetime. 

In Florida, a DUI conviction will also stay on your driving record for 75 years. 

How Does a DUI Impact My Driving Record?

Having a DUI conviction on your driving record in Florida can impact you for years. A DUI conviction can remain on your driving record for 75 years, and the charge can affect whether or not you can obtain or keep a driver’s license. 

A DUI can also impact your insurance rates. Insurance companies typically look at the last three to five years of driving history to determine rates. If a DUI conviction occurred during that time-frame, it is likely that insurance rates will be much higher than if no DUI conviction is on the driving record. A DUI conviction on a driving record could cause insurance rates to go up by $5,000 per year. 

Can I Get a DUI Off My Criminal Record in Florida?

If you have been convicted of a DUI In Florida, the criminal record cannot be removed or expunged. If you were convicted at trial or plead guilty, the charge will stay on your record for up to 75 years.

If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI in Florida, but not convicted, you have options to get the DUI removed from your record. 

This is why it’s important to take your DUI charge seriously from the beginning. 

You may be able to get your records sealed or expunged if you can get the case dismissed or dropped to a lesser charge. You may also be able to participate in a pre-trial diversion program which can prevent a conviction.

In both scenarios, you may be able to avoid having a DUI on your criminal or driving record — but you need to work with a criminal defense attorney to take action before you are convicted. 

Related: What to Expect From a First Offense DUI

Get All Your DUI Questions Answered

If you want a clean criminal and driving record, it is best to get a DUI charge dismissed or have the charges lessened from the start. It’s your best chance of getting a clean record that won’t impact your life for years to come.

If you’ve been charged with or convicted of a DUI, it helps to have someone experienced with the system guide you through it. Rather than look for answers on your own, you can rely on an experienced DUI attorney who can give you straight answers and identify the best plan of action for your case. 

To ensure that you get the best possible outcome after a DUI charge, the team at TJ Grimaldi, Attorney at Law is here to help. If you’re looking for answers, we offer free consultations so we can talk to you about your case and explain how we can help. Don’t go through a DUI charge alone. Contact TJ Grimalid today by calling 813-226-1023 or requesting your free consultation

Being charged with a first offense DUI is scary. Thousands of people in Florida are charged with a DUI each year, and the stakes are high for each and every person. But, while each case and person is unique, there are some standard processes and procedures you can expect for each first-time DUI charge. 

If you were recently charged with a first offense DUI, here are a few things you can expect and how you can plan to get the best possible outcome.  

What Is a First Offense DUI?

DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” It refers to driving a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol, which is defined by a legal limit of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal BAC limit is .08%, meaning any person driving a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher can be charged with driving under the influence. Drivers under 21 may be charged with a DUI with any level of BAC because it is illegal for them to consume alcohol in the first place. A first offense DUI refers to charges against someone who has never been charged with a DUI before.  

It’s important to note that a DUI offense includes more than just driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol. 

A DUI is interchangeable with a DWI. DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” This term includes driving while under the influence of any intoxicants that could impair driving. It includes driving while intoxicated by alcohol as well as painkillers, sleep medication, and other street or prescription drugs. You don’t need alcohol involved to get a DUI/DWI. You may also be charged if you are impaired from drugs, prescribed or illegal. 

DUIs aren’t exclusive to driving cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The “driving” part of a DUI is often associated with driving a vehicle. But, a person can also be charged with a DUI for operating a bicycle, a boat (often referred to as a “BWI”), or even a lawnmower. 

You may think a DUI always refers to a situation where someone was driving a car while intoxicated from alcohol, but it is not limited to that situation. It can also refer to a situation where someone was driving a boat while intoxicated from pain killers. 

What’s the Penalty for a First Offense DUI in Florida?

The situation for someone charged with a first offense DUI varies, but there are some standards for how each case will be processed. 

Is a first time DUI a felony or misdemeanor?

A first offense DUI will be classified as a misdemeanor, as long as no one was killed or seriously injured during the event. In that case, the charge may be classified as a felony. 

Will there be jail time? 

For most first offense DUIs, there is no minimum jail time. In Florida, jail time can be up to six months for a first offense. Factors determine if the driver will do jail time and if so, how long the term will last. Individuals convicted of a DUI may receive jail time if: 

  • The driver had a very high BAC
  • There was a passenger under 18
  • Property was damaged during the incident
  • Someone was injured during the incident 

Will I lose my driver’s license or get an IID?

Many first time DUI offenders will lose their driver’s license for some time. In Florida, license suspensions can last for 180 days to one year for a first offense DUI

An ignition interlock device (IID) requires a driver to blow into an alcohol sensor before starting the car to prove that they don’t have alcohol in their system. Typically, first offenders won’t get an IID unless the details of their case are severe. 

How much will I need to pay in fines? 

First offense DUIs almost always involve fines. Factors unique to the situation may cause fines to increase. In Florida, violators can expect to pay around $500-$1,000 in fines.

Will my car insurance go up? 

DUIs are reported to insurers, and it is likely that the insurance company will increase rates if an individual is charged with a first offense DUI. 

Reduce the Impact of a First Offense DUI 

As soon as you are charged with a DUI, talk to a criminal defense attorney about your options to see how they can help reduce the charges and penalties and/or help you clear your record. 

If you believe that you have been unfairly or unjustly charged with a DUI, you can fight it. You may be able to get your case dismissed if you can prove: 

  • Faulty breath or blood testing 
  • That a medical condition or mouth alcohol contaminated results  
  • Police misconduct or that there was no probable cause for the stop 

If you were justly convicted of a first offense DUI, it doesn’t mean you will have a DUI following you around forever. There are steps you can take to clear your record. Talk to your attorney about programs that can reduce the impact of your DUI for the short and long term.

Don’t Go Through a DUI on Your Own

While there are some standard guidelines and procedures involved with every DUI, each DUI case is unique. If you’ve been charged with a first offense DUI, don’t go blindly through the system on your own. Work with an experienced DUI attorney who can make sure your unique situation is handled with care and consideration.

Contact our offices to get a free consultation so we can learn about the specifics of your case and see how we can help you get the fairest outcome possible. Request your free consultation or call us at 813-226-1023 today.