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How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Florida?

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The consequences of a DUI in Florida can result in the loss of your license, fines and fees, and even jail time. However, the consequences don’t end when your case does. Having a DUI on your record can affect your future. Your car insurance premiums will increase.

Any officer who pulls you over will see your previous offense when they look you up. You will also face harsher penalties if you are convicted again in the future. Your record may also be held against you when you are trying to find a job. Because of this, one of the main concerns many people who have been convicted have is what they can do to get it off their record.

So how long does a DUI stay on your record? The answer to that question depends on whether or not you are talking about your criminal record or your driving record. If you have a misdemeanor or felony DUI charge, it will stay on your criminal record for 75 years. Once you’ve been convicted of DUI, it will be reported to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, where it will stay forever.

Once you’ve been convicted, is there anything you can do to get a DUI removed from your criminal or driving record? Keep reading to learn more about the options that may be available to you.

Getting Your Record Sealed or Expunged

In Florida, getting your records sealed or expunged is not possible. When you are convicted of a DUI, it requires an adjudication of guilt. This automatically makes your record ineligible to be sealed or expunged.

Even if you plead out, you will still be adjudicated guilty. One exception is if your attorney can get the charges reduced to Reckless Driving. This charge is eligible to be sealed if the judge withholds adjudication or if your lawyer wins your case.

DUI Diversion Programs

If this is your first DUI charge in Florida, you may be able to enter a pre-trial diversion DUI if there is space and you meet the strict requirements. This program is sponsored by the State Attorney. Once you’ve successfully completed it, your DUI charges will be dismissed.

You will be required to sign a contract to agree to the program’s terms, which include using an alcohol interlock device, agreeing to random urine screenings, and DUI school. Diversion programs are only available in Brevard and Seminole County.

Websites That Promise to Remove DUIs

Websites that promise to remove DUI records sound too good to be true because they are. At least in Florida, where their expensive services won’t do you any good. Instead of wasting your money on these services, it’s better to do your research and invest in an experienced DUI lawyer.

Pleading Guilty to a Lesser Charge

In certain circumstances, the prosecutor may agree to reduce your charges to reckless driving or “wet reckless,” which is a lesser charge than DUI that allows the court to withhold adjudication. Once this happens, it will be possible to have the DUI charge sealed, although it will still be visible to certain government entities.

Skip the Public Defender

Once a DUI arrest happens in Florida, it can haunt you forever if you don’t take immediate steps. The most important thing you need to do is to hire an attorney right away. If you can prove you are indigent, the court will appoint a public defender.

Your defender will represent you for free, but it could cost you your future. These public defenders are overloaded with cases, and their primary objective is to quickly move you through the system.

The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

Hiring an attorney can mean the difference between a temporary nightmare and a lifelong criminal record. An experienced lawyer who has a track record of successfully defending clients who have been accused of DUI will be your best shot at lessening your consequences. Your attorney may be able to challenge test results and negotiate with tough prosecutors.

A lawyer has experience with the local courts. They know which judges are tougher, and they may have built relationships with local judges as well. Your attorney will make sure you are aware of any important details in your case and keep you on top of your legal deadlines.

An attorney can also answer any other questions you may have about DUI in Florida. These are some of the most commonly asked questions.

Is DUI a Felony in Florida?

In this state, your first DUI will almost always be a misdemeanor charge. However, if someone was hurt or killed, even your first DUI can be a felony. Your second or third DUI can be a felony charge if you injure or kill someone else as well.  In these cases, defendants will face much more serious penalties that can include steep fines and lengthy prison sentences.

What Is the Typical Sentence?

The standard sentence for a first-time DUI is six months. If you are found to have had a blood alcohol concentration of .15% or more at the time of the accident, or you had a passenger under 18 in the car, you may be facing nine months.

If the accident caused property damage and minor injuries, the sentence could be one year. DUI accidents involving serious injuries could result in sentences of as many as five years.

What Are the Typical DUI Fines?

If this is your first DUI, you can expect to pay $500 to $1,000 in files. These fines can increase up to $2,000 if your BAC was .15% or more or you had a passenger under the age of 18. In cases where the serious bodily injury was involved, you may be fined as much as $5,000.

Can You Drive After Getting a DUI in Florida?

You will only have 10 days to save your driver’s license after a DUI arrest in Florida. Your license will be suspended after the arrest, although you may be issued a temporary permit to travel to