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DUI in Florida

DUI in Florida

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a compounding offense. What this means is that subsequent DUI convictions increase the statutory penalties for DUI. For each level of DUI offense, i.e. first, second, third, and so on, the statutory penalties increase. This is true even if a DUI prior is an out of state offense. For example a first DUI with a breath test under a .15 carries a minimum mandatory fine of $500.00. This penalty, for example, generally increases as the number of DUI’s increases. The State must prove the level of DUI offense in a bifurcated proceeding. This means that once a conviction is achieved for DUI, the State will move to a second phase of trial and prove prior DUI offenses. Prior DUI offenses can be proved as simply as the State presenting the Certified Convictions of the prior offense and proving identity of the Defendant. Reductions of DUI to reckless driving and dismissed DUI cases do not count as prior offenses in the State of Florida. However, out of state DUI offenses can and commonly do count as prior convictions in Florida. If the State can prove a prior out of state DUI conviction the judge must sentence the accused based on the compounded DUI.