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The profound effects of DUI charges in Florida

Florida residents charged with even their first DUI offenses may face serious penalties. People who are convicted of drunk driving charges are often ordered to pay fines, court costs and other fees associated with driving school, ignition interlock devices and other penalties. The monetary costs of DUI convictions are often intensified by the detrimental effects convictions can have on accused people's professional lives.

Florida's tiered penalty system escalates DUI charges depending on the severity of a drunk driving incident. Drivers who are involved in an accident that injures someone, who have a child in the car or whose blood alcohol content is greater than .15 percent often face more severe charges than drivers in cases where aggravating factors like these are not present. Those who are accused of their first DUI charges may ultimately be responsible for costs ranging from $3,700 to $12,200. For further offenses, accused people may face up to $25,000 in fines, court costs, attorney's fees, classes, ignition interlock devices, increased insurance premiums and other expenses.

License suspension or revocation is a common penalty for repeat DUI offenses, limiting a person's ability to get to work. People who cannot afford ignition interlock devices or increased insurance premiums may be forced to take public transportation or get rides. DUI convictions may also result in an accused person being fired from their job, especially if they are sentenced to a jail term, and prospective employers may decline to hire people with DUI convictions on their records.

All DUI charges can have profound effects on people's lives. Defense attorneys may be able help clients facing drunk driving charges mitigate the effects on their professional lives by negotiating with prosecutors for plea bargains that exchange lesser charges such as reckless driving for guilty pleas.

Source: The Florida Times-Union, "Costs for DUI are steep, often everlasting", Amanda Williamson, Jan. 31, 2015

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The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424

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