Florida DUI Overview: Starting Point for Laws and Legal Advice



Penalties for DUI Convictions in Florida

Being convicted of a DUI in Florida can have serious repercussions on your life, affecting everything from your driving privileges to your employment opportunities. The penalties for DUI convictions vary widely, depending on several factors such as the severity of the offense, prior convictions, and whether the incident resulted in property damage or bodily harm.


Understanding the Severity of DUI Penalties

The state of Florida takes DUI offenses very seriously, with the law imposing stringent penalties on those found guilty. Here’s a breakdown of what you might expect if convicted:

  • First DUI Offense: Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, possible imprisonment for up to 6 months, license suspension for a minimum of 180 days, and mandatory DUI school.
  • Second DUI Offense: Fines increase to between $1,000 and $2,000, with imprisonment up to 9 months. If the second offense occurs within 5 years of the first, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days is required, with a license suspension for at least 5 years.
  • Third DUI Offense: Classified as a felony if it occurs within 10 years of a prior conviction, carrying fines from $2,000 to $5,000 and up to 12 months imprisonment. License suspension extends to a minimum of 10 years.

But the penalties don’t stop there. DUI convictions can also lead to:

  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at the offender’s expense.
  • Vehicle impoundment.
  • Community service.
  • Increased insurance rates.
  • Loss of professional licenses and certifications.

Did you know? A DUI conviction can also impact your eligibility for certain jobs, especially those requiring driving. It’s not just about the immediate penalties; it’s about your future too.

Factors that can influence the severity of penalties include the presence of minors in the vehicle, BAC levels exceeding .15, and causing injury or property damage. In cases involving serious bodily injury or DUI manslaughter, penalties are significantly more severe, including lengthy prison sentences.

It’s also important to note that Florida law mandates stricter penalties for those who refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test under the state’s implied consent laws. This can lead to an automatic license suspension and can be used as evidence against you in court.

Given the complexities and severe implications of DUI charges in Florida, it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation. Contact Leppard Law: DUI Defense Attorneys at 407-476-4111. Our team is well-versed in DUI defense strategies and will fight to protect your rights and minimize the impact of a DUI charge on your life.

Defenses Against DUI Charges in Florida

When facing DUI charges in Florida, it might seem like the odds are stacked against you. However, with the right legal strategy, there are several defenses that can be employed to challenge the charges. At Leppard Law: DUI Defense Attorneys, we understand the complexities of DUI cases and utilize every tool at our disposal to defend our clients. Whether it’s questioning the legality of a traffic stop or the accuracy of BAC testing, our experienced team is here to provide the robust defense you deserve.

Challenging the Legality of the Traffic Stop

One of the first lines of defense in a DUI case is to examine the circumstances surrounding the initial traffic stop. Law enforcement must have a valid reason, known as reasonable suspicion, to stop a driver. If this reason doesn’t hold up under legal scrutiny, it could lead to the suppression of evidence or even the dismissal of charges. Our team meticulously reviews each case to identify any potential violations of your rights during the traffic stop.

Accuracy of BAC Testing

The accuracy of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) testing is another area where DUI charges can be contested. Factors such as improper calibration of testing equipment, errors in the administration of tests, or the physiological conditions of the individual can all impact BAC readings. By challenging these aspects, we aim to cast doubt on the prosecution’s evidence, potentially leading to a more favorable outcome for our clients.

Role of Expert Witnesses in DUI Cases

In DUI cases, expert witnesses can play a crucial role in challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution. Experts in toxicology, pharmacology, and forensic science can provide testimony that questions the reliability of BAC testing, the effects of medication, or the individual’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Our firm has a network of qualified experts ready to support your defense.

What exactly does an expert witness do in a DUI case? An expert witness can analyze evidence, testify about the reliability of BAC testing, and offer insights into how substances affect the human body, providing a deeper understanding of the factors at play in a DUI charge.

At Leppard Law: DUI Defense Attorneys, we understand the importance of a tailored defense strategy. Each case is unique, and we’re committed to exploring every possible avenue to defend our clients. From challenging the legality of traffic stops and the accuracy of BAC tests to leveraging the expertise of witnesses, our goal is to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you’re facing DUI charges in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 407-476-4111 for a consultation. Together, we can navigate the complexities of your case and work towards the best possible resolution.

Remember, a DUI charge does not have to define your future. With the right defense strategy and legal support, there’s hope for a favorable outcome. Contact us today and let us put our expertise to work for you.

For more information on DUI defense strategies and how we can help, consider reading about DUI manslaughter and how we approach these serious charges with a combination of legal knowledge and compassionate representation.


The journey through the DUI legal process in Florida can be complex and intimidating, especially for those encountering it for the first time. From the moment of arrest to the final verdict or settlement, each step requires careful navigation and a deep understanding of Florida’s DUI laws. At Leppard Law: DUI Defense Attorneys, we’re here to guide you through every phase, ensuring that you’re well-informed and prepared for what lies ahead.

Steps to Take Following a DUI Arrest in Florida

After a DUI arrest in Florida, taking the right steps can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here’s what you should do:

  • Remain Calm: Stay composed and cooperative, but remember your right to remain silent and politely decline to answer questions without a lawyer present.
  • Contact a DUI Defense Attorney: Securing experienced legal representation is crucial. Call us at 407-476-4111 to discuss your case and explore your options.
  • Document Everything: Write down every detail about your arrest and the events leading up to it while they’re fresh in your mind.
  • Request a DMV Hearing: You have a limited time to request a hearing to contest your administrative license suspension. Failure to do so can result in an automatic suspension.

Understanding the DUI legal process is essential for anyone facing charges. Here’s a simplified overview:

  1. Arrest: A DUI arrest typically begins with a traffic stop or at a DUI checkpoint. If the officer has probable cause, you will be arrested and taken into custody.
  2. Booking: After arrest, you’ll be processed at a local police station, which includes taking fingerprints and a mugshot.
  3. Arraignment: During your first court appearance, you’ll hear the charges against you and enter a plea.
  4. Pre-Trial Motions: Your attorney may file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the charges based on legal grounds.
  5. Trial: If your case goes to trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence and arguments. A judge or jury will then determine your guilt or innocence.
  6. Sentencing: If convicted, sentencing will depend on various factors, including prior offenses and the circumstances of your arrest.

At Leppard Law: DUI Defense Attorneys, we understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with facing DUI charges. Our approach combines expert legal representation with a personal touch, ensuring that you feel supported throughout the legal process. Our team is dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for your case, leveraging our extensive knowledge and experience to challenge evidence, negotiate with prosecutors, and, when necessary, defend your rights in court.

If you or a loved one is navigating the DUI legal process in Florida, don’t face it alone. Contact Leppard Law: DUI Defense Attorneys today at 407-476-4111 for a consultation. Together, we can work towards a resolution that protects your future.

Leppard Law Scales of Justice

For more insights into defending against DUI charges, explore our resources on DUI defense strategies and the importance of choosing the right DUI defense attorney. At Leppard Law, we’re committed to providing our clients with the knowledge and representation needed to navigate the complexities of the Florida DUI legal system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a DUI in Florida?

A DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, in Florida is a charge that occurs when an individual operates a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired. The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Florida is 0.08% for drivers over 21.

How can a DUI lawyer help?

A DUI lawyer can help by:

  • Reviewing the details of your arrest
  • Challenging the evidence presented against you
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges
  • Representing you in court to ensure your rights are protected

What are the penalties for a DUI in Florida?

The penalties for a DUI in Florida can include fines, license suspension, community service, DUI school, vehicle impoundment, and even jail time. The severity depends on the number of prior offenses and the specific circumstances of the case.

Can I refuse a breathalyzer test in Florida?

In Florida, you can technically refuse a breathalyzer test, but doing so comes with consequences. Refusal leads to an automatic license suspension for one year for the first offense and can be used as evidence against you in court.

For more detailed information on defending your rights and navigating the complexities of DUI charges in Florida, explore our DUI defense strategies or contact us today at 407-476-4111 for a personalized consultation.

In addition to DUI defense, we offer a wide range of legal services to meet the diverse needs of our clients in Florida. Here’s a look at other practice areas we specialize in:

Criminal Defense Drug Crimes
Traffic Violations Domestic Violence
Theft & Fraud Assault & Battery
Juvenile Crimes Weapons Charges
Probation Violations Sealing & Expungements
Boating Under the Influence Hit and Run
Vehicular Homicide Reckless Driving
Leaving the Scene Driving While License Suspended

List of Top-Rated DUI Attorneys Serving Florida

Choosing the appropriate legal representation is crucial when pursuing a claim. A seasoned, committed DUI attorney ensures you’re equipped to make informed choices at each phase of the process.

  • John Vallillo: John Vallillo is renowned for his tenacity and attention to detail, offering personalized and effective legal representation for DUI charges.
  • Joe Easton: Joe Easton specializes in challenging evidence and negotiating favorable outcomes, with a deep commitment to justice for DUI defense.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard brings strategic thinking and skilled negotiation to DUI cases, achieving numerous dismissals and reduced charges for his clients.

Read Reviews from Our DUI Clients in Florida

At the forefront of our DUI practice is a deep-seated commitment to client satisfaction. Each case is handled with utmost care, as echoed in the appreciative feedback from those we represent.


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Take the First Step Towards Your Defense with Leppard Law

At Leppard Law, we understand the gravity of facing a DUI charge in Florida. It’s not just about legal representation; it’s about having a dedicated ally in your corner who knows you and your case inside and out. Our team, led by the highly recognized and client-focused attorneys, is committed to treating each client like family, ensuring your rights are defended and your voice is heard.

With our proven track record, recognized by SuperLawyers, Orlando Family Magazine, and Avvo among others, we bring not only our extensive experience and skillful negotiation to your case but also a personal commitment that is unmatched. Our accolades include:

Don’t let a DUI charge define your future. With Leppard Law, you gain more than just a legal team; you gain a group of advocates passionate about achieving the best possible outcome for you. Experience the difference of a tech-savvy defense combined with a personal touch that has made us a leader in DUI and criminal defense across Central Florida.

Ready to take the first step towards your defense? Contact us today at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Let us put our expertise, dedication, and personal commitment to work for you.


Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton