The legal blood alcohol content level in West Palm Beach, Florida, is the same as much of the rest of the country at 0.08. Under Florida law, penalties are imposed based on the alcohol content level and the number of driving under the influence charges an individual has had over the years.
First-time DUI charges are unique in that the penalties handed down tend to be less severe than those that are charged as a result of subsequent DUI charges. Additionally, a person arrested for a first-time DUI might be eligible to enter the DUI diversion program in Palm Beach County. Not all first time DUI offenses are eligible for the diversion program. For instance, you are not eligible for diversion if you were arrested for DUI with property damage.
Many people charged with a first-time DUI are students, recent college graduates, or young professionals who are facing criminal charges after having one too many drinks at a social function.
With an experienced criminal defense attorney, a first-time offender may have the chance to enter a diversion program, or have their charges reduced to reckless driving or “wet reckless.”
Attorney for First-Time DUI Charges in West Palm Beach
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney from the start of a Florida DUI charge is imperative because an attorney, within the first ten (10) days of the charge, will work to get you a hardship license. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI for the first-time in Palm Beach County, Florida, or in the surrounding areas of Broward County or Miami-Dade County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
Our attorneys understand the importance of taking advantage of the benefits first time offenders have when being charged with DUI. The lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. strive to get their client’s charges dropped.
Call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers.
First DUI Penalties in Florida
The penalties for being charged with driving under the influence in Florida for the first time are outlined in Florida Statute § 316.193. The Statute sets out the minimum mandatory punishments required. Mandatory punishments for a first-time DUI charge are as follows:
- Fine – a first-time DUI conviction will include a fine of a minimum $500 and up to $1,000. If the driver’s blood alcohol content level was 0.15, then the penalties will be enhanced. The minimum amount of the fine is $1,000 up to $2,000 for enhanced punishments.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – under Florida law, for a first-DUI conviction, an IID may be placed on the individual’s vehicle, if the court orders one. If the driver had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, then the individual will be required to have an IID on their vehicle for six (6) months.
- Community Service – an individual will be required to complete at least fifty (50) hours of community service.
- License Revocation – an individual’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 180 days.
- Jail – an individual may face up to six (6) months in county jail. If, however, there was a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the offense, then the individual may be in jail for up to nine (9) months.
- DUI School – a first-time DUI conviction will result in mandatory enrollment of twelve hours in DUI School.
Reinstate Your Florida License After DUI
Being convicted of a DUI for the first time in West Palm Beach, Florida, will result in an individual’s driver’s licenses being suspended for at least six (6) months unless a court grants a hardship license.
To reinstate your Florida driver’s license, an individual must visit the Florida DMV and pay a reinstatement fee after completing the requirements imposed by the court. Generally, reinstating a license after a first-DUI charge will require enrolling in a DUI course that discusses the issues with driving under the influence. Reinstating your license also requires showing that you possess bodily liability insurance coverage on your vehicle.
Florida Statute §316.193 – Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language regarding driving under the influence in Florida. Online Sunshine provides info on the various penalties associated with being charged with driving under the influence.
Reinstating License After DUI – Visit the Florida DMV for more information about the steps a DUI offender in West Palm Beach, Florida, must take in order to reinstate his or her license or apply for a hardship to have your license reinstated for business or employment purposes after a first-time DUI charge.
Find an Attorney for a First-DUI in Broward County, FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in West Palm Beach, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about a hardship license immediately. Having a DUI conviction on your record can substantially change the way you travel and the kinds of licenses you may be eligible for.
Additionally, DUI convictions in Florida remain on your criminal record and they cannot be sealed or expunged.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our attorneys take cases throughout Palm Beach County, Florida and in the surrounding areas of Broward County and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our attorneys.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.