Accusations of impaired driving can affect someone in multiple ways. Sometimes, people will end up spending a day or even a weekend in state custody prior to arraignment. They will then have to go to court to either defend themselves or plead guilty and await sentencing. Those who enter a guilty plea can anticipate criminal consequences and the revocation of their driver’s license in most cases.
Losing a license is not just frustrating. It may also be expensive and have consequences for someone’s career. Those who drive for a living may no longer be able to perform their jobs, and many others will be at risk of unemployment if they don’t have reliable transportation. License revocation forces people to rely on others or on paid services to get to work and handle basic household responsibilities. How long will someone typically go without driving privileges after a conviction for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Florida?
The driver’s record determines the penalties
The consequences that the Florida criminal courts will impose directly relate to someone’s driving record and the circumstances at the time of the DUI arrest. If someone caused injury to others, for example, the penalties will usually be higher. In scenarios that only involved a technical infraction and no harm to others, license revocation will likely last for months, although hardship licenses are available in some cases. A first DUI charge carries a minimum of 180 days of license revocation, although a judge could take away someone’s driving privileges for a full year.
A second offense within five years of the first would lead to five years without driving privileges. If the second offense occurs more than five years after the first, the same rules for a first offense apply. A third offense within 10 years of the second could mean 10 years without driving privileges, while a fourth will lead to permanent license revocation.
In scenarios where people injure others or cause a death while impaired at the wheel, the license revocation period will last substantially longer. The only sure way to avoid those license penalties is to fight the charges and avoid a criminal conviction. Responding appropriately to Florida DUI charges can help protect someone’s driving privileges, which could affect their career and their family.