How Much Does a DUI Cost in Florida?

How Much Does a DUI Cost Florida

The cost of a DUI in Florida varies on a case-by-case basis. It’s important to understand that in addition to the fines and court fees, there are many other costs to a DUI conviction that may not be obvious at first. Fully understanding these costs can help you navigate these challenges if you have been arrested for, or even convicted of, a DUI.

Laws and statutes against driving under the influence (DUI) exist to increase public safety. Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated can result in accidents that lead to loss of life, serious injury, and property damage. This is why states like Florida enact such severe penalties, including fines and jail time, for a DUI conviction.

The legal limit for alcohol in Florida is defined as a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. According to the Florida Statutes, section 316.193, penalties for a first DUI conviction include:

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

Fines, jail time, and other penalties increase with subsequent offenses and/or if there was property damage, injury, or manslaughter involved. One report totals the average cost of a DUI in Florida at $3,500 in fines alone.

The Hidden Costs of a DUI in Florida

Fines are only the beginning of the monetary costs for a Florida DUI conviction. Here is a list of the other ways that a DUI in Florida can cost you financially:

  • Court fees: Approximately $1,000.
  • Towing fees: Approximately $250, or more if your car gets booted.
  • Probation, DUI school, and treatment costs: All together can cost upwards of $1,000.
  • Fees to receive a hardship license: Approximately $200.
  • Car insurance rate increases: Your car insurance rates will go up as well. It depends on your carrier and driving record, but the yearly cost for your insurance premiums could be as high as $3,000 to $6,000. Costs in Florida can be particularly high due to requirements for an FR-44 form, which proves you have a higher level of liability coverage after a DUI.

These costs come before factoring in all the other ways a DUI can impact and damage your finances. This includes:

  • Loss of income while serving a sentence or completing a treatment program
  • Paying to repair your vehicle before meeting your insurance deductible
  • Transportation costs while your license is revoked, including public transportation, ride sharing, or taxi cabs

A DUI conviction can also have a severe long-term effect on your livelihood. Many industries will not hire people with a DUI conviction on their record. The costs of a DUI in Florida can follow you around for years.

How the Right Attorney Can Impact the Cost of a Florida DUI

The next part of the cost of a DUI in Florida is legal fees. While these costs can vary depending on the legal representation you seek, they can be a considerable part of the overall financial burden of your DUI. There may be a temptation to limit these costs by using a public defender or going with the lowest cost attorney you can find.

It’s important to understand that having a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable attorney on your side can have a potential impact on the other costs of a DUI. The legal system is complex. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, having a police officer tell you you are guilty does not mean you have been convicted.

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 possible outcome.

At Clark Hartpence Law, attorney Jeremy Clark was a public defender in the Sixth Judicial Circuit and fully understands the laws surrounding DUI. With his and our team’s extensive experience, we can respond effectively to the arguments the state of Florida typically uses in DUI cases.

Contact us today at (855) 680-4911 for your free consultation. A DUI arrest does not have to ruin your life. We’ll work hard to minimize the costs of your Florida DUI.

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