How long can someone lose their license after a DUI conviction?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | DUI Defense

Driving under the influence (DUI) offenses occur every day in Florida. People get arrested and often plead guilty because police officers think they were drunk at the wheel. Even people who insist they weren’t under the influence at all may choose to enter a guilty plea because they think doing so protects them from the worst consequences possible.

However, judges still have to conform to Florida sentencing rules. A guilty plea might inspire leniency, but it won’t protect someone from financial consequences, probation, incarceration and license revocation. It is typically mandatory for the courts to revoke someone’s license after a DUI conviction or guilty plea.

How long might someone lose their driving privileges if they plead guilty or are otherwise convicted of a Florida DUI?

Several factors influence the penalties possible

The length of the license revocation after a DUI conviction differs from one case to the next. Judges have to look at whether someone got hurt, whether the defendant has prior convictions and other details, such as if they had a particularly high amount of alcohol in their bloodstream at the time of their arrest.

The law gives judges a degree of discretion regarding driver’s license revocations after a DUI charge. Someone facing their first Florida DUI could lose their license for 180 days at least or up to a year. If the incident involved injury to another person, then they could lose their license for a full three years. A second DUI within five years of the first offense could lead to a five-year revocation.

A third DUI conviction within 10 years of the second carries a minimum revocation period of 10 years. Anyone convicted of a fourth DUI in Florida faces mandatory permanent license revocation. Some people can apply for hardship licenses after serving a portion of their license revocation period.

Given the increasing penalties possible with each conviction, fighting against any DUI charge can make a lot of sense for the average Florida adult. Losing a driver’s license could cost them their job or create a lot of expense and inconvenience for their family members. Learning about the penalties for Florida DUI charges could help people understand why fighting those charges might be their best option.