DUI Sentences in Pinellas, Clearwater, St. Petersburg

DUI Penalties, Fines and Costs Can Be Harsh Under Florida Law

In Pinellas County there are approximately eight County Court Criminal Judges who may preside over your DUI case.  Your Pinellas County DUI case could be assigned to one of three courthouses:

  1. North Pinellas County Traffic Court, 29582 U.S. Hwy 19 North, Clearwater, FL 33761, if your DUI arrest occurred in the Clearwater, Palm Harbor areas north of Ulmerton Road;
  2. South Pinellas County Traffic Court, 1800 66th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710, if your DUI occurred in the South Pinellas County / St. Petersburg area south of Ulmerton Road;
  3. Pinellas Criminal Courts Complex, 14250 49th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33762, if you have accompanying drug or other non-traffic criminal charges with your DUI, or if you wish to request a jury trial for your DUI, you will have your case transferred to one of the several County Court judges at the County Criminal Complex next to the jail on 49th Street.

DUI Costs Can Be Severe

Regardless of which judge you are in front of, you will be facing severe penalties and high fines, in addition to court costs, police investigative costs, costs of prosecution, restitution for any accident damages and additional costs for probation supervision, DUI school, vehicle interlock (breath test ignition locks) costs and costs of reinstating your driver’s license.  Many of these costs are unavoidable; many of the fines can be set at the judge’s discretion within a range.  In order to save you as much money as possible, Attorney Garry Potts will work to convince your judge to impose the lowest fines allowed by law.  He will also work to counsel you in the best way to minimize the time you spend on probation paying probation supervision costs.

A Look At Pinellas DUI Sentences

The Florida Statutes on DUI fines and court costs are very specific regarding the circumstances of each DUI.  Some common DUI scenarios and their possible sentences are:

  • First time DUI with an alcohol test refusal or blood alcohol level less than .15% – Minimum fine and costs of $983, up to $1,483; up to 12 months probation; from 6 to 12 months driver’s license revocation; up to 6 months jail; 10 day vehicle impound; DUI school & recommended alcohol counseling; 50 hours community service; police agency and State Attorney  investigative costs; Victim Impact Panel course, if ordered by court; no alcohol or visiting bars while on probation;
  • First time DUI with a blood alcohol level at or over .15% (or DUI with minor child in car) – Minimum fine and costs of $1,518 up to $2,518; up to 12 months probation; from 6 to 12 months driver’s license revocation; up to 9 months jail; mandatory ignition interlock system in car for at least 6 months; 10 day vehicle impound; DUI school & recommended alcohol counseling; 50 hours community service; police agency and State Attorney  investigative costs; Victim Impact Panel course, if ordered by court; no alcohol or visiting bars while on probation;
  • Second time DUI with an alcohol test refusal or blood alcohol level less than .15% – Minimum fine and costs of $1,518 up to $2,518; up to 12 months probation; 6 to 12 months (if first DUI was over 5 years previous) or 5 year (if within 5 years of first DUI) driver’s license revocation; up to 9 months jail with a MANDATORY 10 day jail sentence (if within 5 years of first DUI); mandatory ignition interlock system in car for one year; 30 day vehicle impound; Advanced Multi-offender DUI school & recommended alcohol counseling; police agency and State Attorney  investigative costs; Victim Impact Panel course, if ordered by court; no alcohol or visiting bars while on probation;
  • Second time DUI with a blood alcohol level at or more than .15% – Minimum fine and costs of $2,558 up to $4,558; up to 12 months probation; 6 to 12 months (if first DUI was over 5 years previous) or 5 year (if within 5 years of first DUI) driver’s license revocation; up to 9 months jail with a MANDATORY 10 day jail sentence; mandatory ignition interlock system in car for 2 years; 30 day vehicle impound; Advanced Multi-offender DUI school & recommended alcohol counseling; police agency and State Attorney  investigative costs; Victim Impact Panel course, if ordered by court; no alcohol or visiting bars while on probation;
  • Third time DUI with an alcohol test refusal or blood alcohol level less than .15%FELONY 3rd degree IF WITHIN 10 YEARS OF LAST DUI – Minimum fine and costs of $2,558 up to $5,558; up to 12 months probation if misdemeanor or 5 years probation if felony; 1 year (if last DUI was over 10 years previous) or 10 year (if within 10 years of last DUI) driver’s license revocation; up to 5 years prison with a MANDATORY 30 day jail sentence if within 10 years of last DUI, or up to 12 months jail if more than 10 years since last DUI ; mandatory ignition interlock system in car for 2 years; 90 day vehicle impound if within 10 years of last DUI or 10 days if over 10 years of last DUI; Advanced Multi-offender DUI school & recommended alcohol counseling; police agency and State Attorney  investigative costs; Victim Impact Panel course, if ordered by court; no alcohol or visiting bars while on probation.
  • Third time DUI with a blood alcohol level at or more than .15%FELONY 3rd degree IF WITHIN 10 YEARS OF LAST DUI – Minimum fine and costs of $4,558 up to $5,558; up to 12 months probation if misdemeanor or 5 years probation if felony; 1 year (if last DUI was over 10 years previous) or 10 year (if within 10 years of last DUI) driver’s license revocation; up to 5 years prison with a MANDATORY 30 day jail sentence if within 10 years of last DUI, or up to 12 months jail if more than 10 years since last DUI ; mandatory ignition interlock system in car for 2 years; 90 day vehicle impound if within 10 years of last DUI or 10 days if over 10 years of last DUI; Advanced Multi-offender DUI school & recommended alcohol counseling; police agency and State Attorney  investigative costs; Victim Impact Panel course, if ordered by court; no alcohol or visiting bars while on probation.

Fourth time DUI’s and over are usually prosecuted as third degree felonies, punishable up to 5 years in prison and require even higher fines and costs and will lead to a permanent driver’s license revocation.  DUI’s involving property damage, serious bodily injury or death are also treated more severely at sentencing.

With 15 years experience serving as a prosecutor in the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and over 8 years of DUI criminal defense since, Attorney Garry Potts knows the laws, the court system and procedures to work for you to minimize the penalties and inconveniences if you are facing sentencing on a DUI.  If you have a DUI or traffic ticket in the St. Petersburg area, email or call Attorney Garry Potts at (727) 538-4166 now for a free consultation.

 

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