Driving under the influence in Florida means serious penalties, some of which might include sizable fines, substance abuse treatment obligations and a loss of your driver’s license. However, if you recently received a DUI charge during a Florida traffic stop, one of your biggest concerns might be potentially having to spend time in jail or prison if convicted.
Per the Bradenton Times, going to jail after a DWI conviction is not a guarantee. However, it is a possibility.
Jail time after a first-time Florida DUI
Whether you have to go to jail after a first offense of drinking and driving is ultimately up to the court system. There is no minimum jail time associated with a first-time drinking and driving conviction. That said, if the court decides there were factors in play that merit your incarceration, it may decide to place you behind bars for a set period.
Jail time after subsequent DUI convictions
Things change a bit if you face a second or third DUI conviction. A second Florida DUI means at least 10 days of automatic jail time, while a third DUI means you may have to spend anywhere from 30 days to five years behind bars as part of your penalty. A third DUI is also a felony offense, bringing with it a host of additional repercussions.
While not every DUI arrest means mandatory jail time, the potential for having to go to jail is there, even if it is your first time facing such a charge. Going to jail or prison may complicate many aspects of your life, including your ability to hold down a job or stay current on your bills.