You need an experienced DUI lawyer in Tampa to advocate for you and fight to protect your rights. The capable and proven Florida DUI attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett can help you understand your best legal options and create a robust defense strategy to have the charges dropped or reduced.

Penalties for a First DUI Offense in Florida

You can be charged with DUI if you are found driving with a BAC between .08 and .15. This is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by jail time, fines, and license suspension:

  • You may face a fine of $500 to $1,000 if you are found guilty of the charges
  • There is also a jail sentence of up to six months in severe cases
  • Your license will be suspended for at least six months
  • You will also have to perform mandatory community service for 50 hours or pay an additional fine of $10 per hour

Defense for a First DUI Charge

The police will confiscate your driver’s license when you get arrested and issue a "Notice of Suspension." This will act as a temporary license for the next ten days. You need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney immediately because your driver’s license will be suspended for six months unless you contest the charges.

If you are charged with DUI for the first time in Florida, you are entitled to an administrative driver's license hearing. Our dedicated DUI defense lawyers at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett in Florida will aggressively represent your interests at this hearing before an administrative judge.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will allow you to present proof of your innocence and argue the charges against you. We will move fast to build evidence in your defense and present compelling arguments challenging the prosecution’s claims to show that they have failed to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) Program

If you were charged with a Florida DUI for the first time, you might be eligible for the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program, which would reduce the crime to a reckless driving charge. In this scenario, you won't have to tell your employers about the DUI charge. You should speak with a proven DUI attorney in Tampa to learn more about your eligibility.

You will not qualify for this program if:

  • You blew a BAC over 0.20
  • You were driving with a minor in the vehicle
  • You caused property damage or injury
  • You got a felony charge in the last five years
  • You have a previous charge of vehicular homicide or reckless driving

You will need to complete the following:

  • One year of probation
  • 60 hours of community service
  • Ten days of vehicle immobilization
  • Complete DUI school
  • Attend a MADD victim panel
  • Maintain an ignition interlock device

Before joining a Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program, you should speak with a DUI attorney. They will help you understand all available legal options.

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Consult with Our Skilled and Knowledgeable DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys – Book Your Free Consultation Today

The experienced Florida DUI defense lawyers at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett have handled many DUI cases throughout the state with successful outcomes.

Our attorneys have an unparalleled track record of reducing or dismissing DUI charges. To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 877-728-9653 or complete our online form.

Free Case Evaluation Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate your legal concerns.

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