If you face a DUI charge, you will have to go to court. However, you may experience some penalties before you ever see a judge. For example, you will likely go to jail upon your arrest and may have to spend a couple of days there until you can go to court. You also may lose your driver’s license. These are two distinct penalties. Going to jail is a criminal penalty whereas losing your license in an administrative penalty.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the law directs administrative penalties that usually occur automatically. The Department of Motor Vehicles will usually monitor and impose these penalties as they apply to your driving privileges. However, a judge can also make rulings and decisions about administrative penalties.
If this is your first DUI, you will face a license suspension that ranges from 180 days to three years. Additional DUIs result in harsher sentences and longer suspensions. A second DUI could mean you lose your license for 80 days to over five years. A third conviction results in a suspension of 180 days to ten years. A fourth conviction may result in losing your license permanently.
You should note that for second and third convictions, the time between convictions plays a large role in the length of suspension. If they occur within five years of each other, you will get a longer suspension. In some cases, you will also have the option of restricted driving privileges, but this is for a judge to decide and not all convictions allow for restricted driving licenses.