No matter where you get in trouble for driving under the influence, a DUI is a significant offense. This is especially true in Florida, where the courts take DUI laws seriously.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some people from driving while drunk and hurting people. Reports show that 32 people die every day as a result of drunk driving.
Even if you have no ill intent, it’s still possible to make this mistake. The question is, what will the consequences be, and how long-lasting?
Learn how long a DUI will stay on your record and what you can expect from the charges.
Why a DUI on Your Record Matters
A DUI on your record matters because it doesn’t just go on your driving record. You’ll also get charged with a criminal offense for endangering others.
In Florida, a DUI starts as a misdemeanor for your first and second offenses. However, it becomes a felony on the third offense. You’ll also face a felony if your DUI offense involves the injury of another person.
There are additional consequences that affect other areas of your life. Here are a few of the most severe concerns.
The price you pay for your insurance premium depends on the risk you pose to insurers. That’s why things like tickets and accidents can drive up your premium.
A DUI is no different. Your car insurance rates can significantly increase if you have a DUI.
How long does a DUI stay on your insurance record? Most auto insurance companies will look at the past three to five years when considering a DUI on your policy.
You’ll face several legal consequences if you’re found guilty of a DUI. The severity of these charges depends on how many DUI offenses you have and the circumstances of your impaired driving.
Here are the consequences of a DUI charge:
- First DUI: Expect up to a $1,000 fine, no more than six months in jail, and a suspended license for up to a year.
- Second DUI: Expect up to a $2,000 fine, up to nine months in jail, and a suspended license for up to five years.
- Third DUI: Expect up to a $5,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and a suspended license for up to 10 years.
A few exceptions apply to the driver’s license suspension rules. In cases of hardship, where you need to drive for community service or employment, you can get an exception for those trips.
- For first offenses, you’re eligible for a hardship license from the beginning.
- For second offenses, you must wait one year to apply for a hardship license.
- For third offenses, you must wait two years before applying for a hardship license.
Getting a DUI can impact your employment if you work in a field where you’re responsible for the safety of others. Potential employers want to know that you have excellent judgment. A DUI record on a background check shows that you’ve made safety mistakes and used impaired judgment in the past.
Do DUIs From Different States Show on Your Record?
In general, DUI charges from other states carry over. If you plan to move from Florida to another state, expect the charge to show up there. Anywhere you catch a DUI in the US, the charge will go on your record with your home state.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?
DUIs will stay on your record in Florida for 75 years. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first offense or you’ve had several. Florida takes this crime seriously, which means it can impact you for the rest of your life.
Your criminal record is no different. Expect your DUI to remain on your criminal record for your entire life.
What Happens With A First-Time DUI Offense In Florida?
You’ll go through the same process in court, regardless of whether it’s your first DUI or third.
Here are the steps you can expect when dealing with a DUI:
- Face arrest by the law enforcement officer at the scene
- Get booked and offered bail
- Go through the courts dealing with arraignment, pre-trial, and pleas
- Go to court if you decide to fight the charge
What Happens When You Have Multiple DUIs?
The process for dealing with an additional DUI is primarily the same as your prior DUI arrest. The most significant difference is the penalties you face.
This will vary depending on the length of time between your DUI offenses. If your second DUI is within five years of your first violation, it counts as the second offense. A third offense falls within seven years.
What Can You Do to Get a DUI Off Your Record?
If you received a DUI on your record, you’re probably concerned about what it means for your future. If you believe you’re wrongly charged, you’ll need to take steps for expunging and sealing criminal records.
Unfortunately, this process isn’t simple if you already have a DUI conviction on your record. If you have a criminal conviction in Florida courts, you’ve received an adjudication of guilt. Even if you accepted a plea bargain, that charge would remain and be ineligible for DUI expungement.
Your best bet is to fight the charges before being found guilty or use a pre-trial diversion program if this is your first offense. You can also try to reduce your charge to a lesser one, like reckless driving, which will stop the DUI charge from going on your record.
Hire a Florida Attorney to Help With Your DUI
An experienced DUI lawyer can work with you to deal with this process. Florida takes DUI charges seriously, which means you can end up with a mark on your driving and criminal charges that follow you around for life.
If you want help with your case, working with an experienced DUI attorney is your best chance of handling the issue. Contact us to schedule a meeting with an attorney.