Many people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida for the first time have no prior criminal records. These individuals can often be extremely confused about what will happen in court and frightened when considering how a conviction could impact their futures.
When alleged offenders who were arrested for DUI have not been in any previous legal trouble for alleged drunk driving, they may be eligible for diversion programs that could allow them to have criminal charges dismissed upon successful completion of the programs. While many people arrested for DUI for the first time assume that they will be forced to plead guilty and be at the mercy of the court, the truth is that any one of a number of factors in how the arrest was handled could lead to criminal charges possibly being minimized or eliminated.Lawyer for First DUI Arrests in Broward County, FL
If you were arrested for your first DUI offense anywhere in the greater Broward County area, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients accused of DUI offenses all over South Florida, including Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Margate, Dania Beach, Lauderhill, and several other nearby communities.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman has experience handling these cases on both sides of the aisle as a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Fort Lauderdale First DUI Information Center
- When can a person be charged with this crime?
- What are the consequences of first DUI convictions?
- Where can I learn more about first DUI in Broward County?
Under Florida Statute § 316.193(1), a person commits a DUI offense if he or she is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within Florida and either:
- The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in Florida Statute § 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;
- The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
- The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
A first DUI offense is generally classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. Florida Statute § 316.193(2)(a) establishes that a first conviction for DUI can result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine of at least $500 up to $1,000.
Alleged offenders can also have their driver’s licenses suspended for up to six months. If a person refused to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test, a first refusal can result in a suspension of one year and subsequent refusals can lead to 18-month suspensions of driver’s licenses. Individuals have only 10 days to request a formal hearing to avoid an automatic suspension.
In addition to the aforementioned punishments, a court may also impose any of the following orders:
- Participate in public service or a community work project for a minimum of 50 hours;
- Up to one year of probation;
- Impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle that was operated by or in the actual control of the alleged offender or any one vehicle registered in the alleged offender’s name at the time of impoundment or immobilization, for a period of 10 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that expires within 10 days; and
- Attend a Level I DUI program.
If an alleged offender had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, a first DUI conviction is punishable by up to nine months in jail and/or a fine of at least $1,000 up to $2,000. Additionally, a court may order the placement, at the alleged offender’s sole expense, of an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least six continuous months upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the alleged offender.
Annual Uniform Traffic Citation Report — Visit this section of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) website to access annual uniform traffic citation statistics. You can select one of the five most recent years and pick the counties you want to view to generate a report of all DUI arrests in that jurisdiction during the selected year. You can also choose which types of agency was responsible for the arrests and generate the report in a PDF or Excel format.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) | Broward County Government Center — Many alleged DUI offenders are required to attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP). At a VIP, victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes speak about the crashes in which they were injured and/or their loved ones were injured or killed. On this section of the MADD website, you can view all of the VIP dates for the year in Broward County as well as all of the requirements of attendance.
Broward County Government Center
115 S. Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Were you recently arrested in South Florida for an alleged first DUI offense? Do not assume that you will have to plead guilty without first seeking legal representation. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who represents individuals in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, and many surrounding areas of Broward County. Call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.