Do You Have to Go to Jail for a DUI?

Do You Have to Go to Jail for a DUI

Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs can be a stressful and scary experience. One question that many people have after dealing with a DUI arrest is whether or not you can go to jail if convicted.

Most people arrested for a DUI can expect to be held in jail until their blood alcohol level (BAC) has reached a safe level. As far as serving a longer jail or prison sentence, that depends on a number of factors, including previous DUI convictions, the driver’s BAC when arrested, and the extent of property damage, bodily harm, or death that has occurred.

Learning more about the laws surrounding DUI in Florida, as well as the potential penalties, can help you better understand your options if you or anyone you know is dealing with a DUI arrest.

The quality of your legal representation can enable you to navigate the complex legal system and ensure you receive your full rights and protections under the law. The earlier you seek assistance, the better.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, reach out today.

How DUI Laws in Florida Address Jail Time and Other Penalties

To understand the potential penalties, including jail time, for a Florida DUI, understanding the law itself is key. The legal limit for alcohol in Florida is defined as a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above.

Police officers can pull you over if they see probable cause that you are driving under the influence, such as:

They will ask questions and can request a field sobriety test to further determine if there is cause for arrest. Once arrested, you are legally required to submit to testing for your BAC, such as a breathalyzer test, or you face additional penalties and charges.

Florida Statutes, section 316.193, states that penalties for a first DUI conviction are:

  • Imprisonment not to exceed six months, or nine months if there was a minor in the vehicle or blood alcohol was above .15.
  • License revocation of a minimum of 180 days.
  • A fine of no less than $500, but not to exceed $1,000, or no less than $1,000, but not to exceed $2,000, if the driver’s blood or breath alcohol level was above .15.

Fines, jail time, and other penalties increase with subsequent offenses and/or if there was property damage, injury, or manslaughter involved. So this means that it is often possible to serve jail time if convicted of a DUI, even if it is the first one.

There is a wide range of factors and circumstances that determine whether or not jail time will actually be part of the sentence, or need to be served. This includes factors such as the nature of the arrest, the amount of reckless driving, the judge’s prerogative, and the defendant’s cooperation.

The law is more complex than ever, including the rules and restrictions that police officers must follow when making a DUI arrest. Experienced DUI attorneys will know how to ensure maximum legal protection for clients while verifying that arresting officers have fully followed the law.

Why You Need Legal Representation for Your DUI

Having experienced and knowledgeable legal representation on your side can have a major impact on your DUI case. Just because you have been arrested for a DUI does not automatically mean you are guilty.

Experienced DUI defense attorneys will fully understand not only your rights under the law but the restrictions and steps that law enforcement is bound to. As just one example, field sobriety tests are often inaccurate due to a number of factors, including driver fatigue and poor instructions by officers. In any DUI defense case, your lawyer should be working hard to ensure your rights are fully protected so you can receive the most fair outcome. This should mean fully reviewing all documentation and reporting surrounding the arrest, including any potential gaps or oversights in the process.

Contact Clark Hartpence Law for a Free Legal Consultation

At Clark Hartpence Law, attorney Jeremy Clark was a public defender in the Sixth Judicial Circuit and has deep knowledge of the laws and penalties surrounding DUI. With his and our team’s comprehensive and focused experience, we know how to build cases to respond to arguments the state of Florida commonly uses in DUI cases.

Contact us today at (855) 680-4911 for your free consultation. A DUI arrest does not have to permanently affect your life. We’ll work hard to minimize the penalties of your DUI arrest under the law, including fines and jail time.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.