We understand that being arrested for the first time is a confusing situation with many unknowns. If this is your first time being accused of drunk driving in the state of Florida, there’s no doubt you have plenty of questions. What follows is a collection of the top questions by clients charged with first offense DUI in Florida. We hope our answers help put some of your concerns to rest.
Of course, if you would like a better understanding of the particular circumstances of your DUI arrest, we are available for a case consultation at no charge. Firm partner John Castro is a top-rated DUI attorney in Tampa who will work with you one-on-one to get the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
I Just Got Arrested for My First DUI, Am I Going to Lose My License?
The Florida DMV will suspend your license for twelve months if you refuse to submit to a lawful request of your breath, blood or urine. If you submit to the request and the results exceed the legal limit your license will be suspended for six months. If you formally waive your right to challenge the DMV suspension you can obtain a hardship license right away.
The criminal court can also suspend your license for six months if you plead or are found guilty of a DUI. The good news is that the suspension runs concurrent (not in addition) to the DMV suspension, and you are eligible for a hardship as long as you are enrolled in DUI school.
Since This is My 1st DUI Arrest, am I Going to Jail?
Nobody can guarantee that you will or will not be sentenced to jail for any charge, but it is unlikely that you will do time on a first DUI. DUI’s in Florida are second degree misdemeanors, which are the least serious criminal offenses in terms of potential jail, fines, and penalties. Every outcome depends on several factors, including most importantly the facts of the case, but also the jurisdiction in which the DUI occurs, prior non DUI offenses, and the demeanor of the state attorney and judge.
If handled properly by an experienced criminal defense attorney, most first time DUI’s are resolved with a period of probation that includes fines, court costs, community service hours and possibly other conditions.
How Will My First DUI Affect My Job and My Future Employment?
If convicted of a DUI in Florida you will have a criminal charge on your record for the rest of your life. There is no option to seal or expunge a DUI conviction. That being said, DUI’s are second degree misdemeanors and may not impact your ability to maintain or obtain employment. You still maintain your right to vote and own a firearm, unlike a felony conviction. Honesty is always the best policy when dealing with an employer. My non-legal advice is to come clean if you have a DUI conviction, focus on the positives, and hope for an understanding boss.
Since This is My First Offense, Can My DUI Be Reduced to Reckless Driving?
Absolutely! DUI’s are complex cases that require an experienced eye to find potential cracks in the state’s case. Remember the burden is always on the state to prove beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt that you were in fact Driving Under the Influence.
Keep in mind that every outcome depends on several factors including most importantly the facts of the case, but also the jurisdiction which the DUI occurs, prior non DUI offenses, and the demeanor of the state attorney and judge.
Free DUI Consultation
Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance with your first DUI arrest. Former Florida state prosecutor and experienced DUI attorney John Castro is here to help guide you through this difficult time. Take the time to request a free consultation and discover what the best options are in your particular situation.