Do I Need a Lawyer for a First-Time DUI in Florida?

If you or a loved one face a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in Florida, seeking legal counsel might be wise. The criminal court system and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can enforce significant penalties if you are found guilty of DUI. An experienced DUI attorney can guide you through your unique legal options during what can be an overwhelming time.  


For a free case review, contact us 24/7. To see why you need an attorney for a first-time DUI, keep reading.  



Florida DUI Laws 


Under Florida law, a DUI offense occurs if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above .08 or if you are driving or in control of a vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or other substances that affect your driving ability. Higher blood alcohol levels of .15% or more can result in enhanced DUI charges with harsher penalties.  


Refusing a BAC test while driving in Florida is a criminal act. Drivers who refuse to undergo chemical testing face a one-year license suspension. Upon receiving your driver’s license in Florida, you consent to take a breath test if you are arrested on a probable cause for DUI. And the potential penalties for a DUI in Florida can be stiff. 


Read More> Know Your Rights When Stopped at a Florida DUI Checkpoint  


Revoked Driving Privileges 


You will receive a minimum six-month license suspension if you are arrested for driving with a BAC beyond Florida’s .08 legal limit. First-time DUI offenders who do not cause bodily injury will receive a minimum 180-day-revocation period with a maximum of one year.  


An offender who causes bodily injury will have a revocation period of a three-year minimum. And a DUI conviction will spend 75 years on your record. 


Additional DUI Penalties 


A DUI on your record can impact everything from landing a job or obtaining a professional license to getting into college or renting an apartment. Here are other potential consequences you may face: 


  • Probation: First-time offenders can see up to one year of combined probation and incarceration. 
  • Fines: For a first DUI conviction, you will typically have penalties between $500 and $2,000. For an offense with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or greater, or if a minor was in the car, the fine could range between $2,000 and $4,000. 
  • Vehicle impoundment: First-time offenders will generally receive a ten-day impoundment or immobilization of their vehicle. 
  • Community Service: A mandatory 50 hours of community service must be completed. 
  • Education Program: Offenders will need to complete 12 hours of DUI education.  
  • Jail Time: A judge will decide whether you will face a jail sentence or be ordered to complete a treatment program for drugs or alcohol. First-time DUI offenders can serve up to six months in jail; if the BAC is .15% or more, up to nine months can be imposed. 


First DUI? You Might Be Eligible for RIDR. Learn More> Hillsborough County’s RIDR Program 



Contact the Experienced DUI Attorneys at Stechschulte Nell 


Having an attorney experienced in handling Florida DUI defense cases can have a profoundly better outcome than going it alone. If you’ve received your first DUI charge in Florida, you need the best DUI defense lawyers in Tampa and St. Petersburg to expertly defend you, advocate for you, and help you navigate the legal system.  


The Stechschulte Nell lawyers have many years of effectively defending alcohol- and drug-related driving offenses in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, and beyond. Please don’t wait; contact us right away at 813-280-1244. 



Related Content: 


DUI in Tampa: Myths vs. Reality 

Why Was I Charged with DUI When I Wasn’t Driving? 

The Reality of DUI and Underage Drivers 

Financial Consequences of A DUI or DWI 

Reasons Why You Need a Good DUI Lawyer 

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