The Denson Firm

How Much Does a DUI Cost in Florida?

If you ever drink and drive, it is important to understand that DUI charges take a significant toll on your employment and pocketbook as well as your day-to-day life. Once charged with a DUI, you should seek an attorney to defend you, which costs money, as does bail and having your car towed and stored. 

If you are convicted, the financial repercussions expand and impact the cost of a DUI attorney in Florida, insurance premiums, and the costs associated with court costs, ignition interlock devices, and DUI school. 

Ultimately, how much does a DUI cost in Florida? Generally speaking, anyone arrested for DUI in Florida should expect to pay at least $1,000 for the lightest DUI charge. From there, the number can quickly rise to five and six figures if bodily injury and property damage figure into the case. 

Breakdown of Legal Fees and Fines for a DUI

Person using calculator to determine how much a DUI costs in Florida

Depending on the circumstances, various court costs, fines, and fees may automatically apply to your case. After you have been arrested, you must make bail, which will cost between $100 and $3,000, depending on the circumstances. 

First-time offenders typically pay between $100 to $200 in bail to a bondsman and up to $1,000 if the bond is paid directly to the court. 

After your DUI arrest, your license may be up for administrative suspension within ten days of the arrest. Fortunately, the state allows you to challenge the license suspension in a formal review hearing, which also costs money. Basic charges applicable in a formal review hearing include:

  • An administrative fee of at least $130
  • Suspension fee of $45
  • License revocation fee of $75
  • Filing fee of $25
  • An assessment fee for a DUI program of $15
  • Vendor assessment fee for interlock device of $12
  • Hardship license cost of $222
  • Ignition interlock installation fee of $170 and monthly payments of $60

As you can see, before you are even convicted of a DUI, you may be required to pay significant amounts of money. If you end up with a conviction, the amount of money you must pay may increase substantially.

The table that follows includes a basic breakdown of DUI fines in Florida levied upon a conviction. 

Conviction Type Fine
First  $500 to $1,000
Second $1,000 to $2,000
Third (within 10 years) $2,000 to $5,000
First With Aggravating Factors $1,000 to $2,000
Second With Aggravating Factors $2,000 to $4,000
Third With Aggravating Factors Minimum $4,000
DUI — Property Damage or Bodily Injury $1,000 maximum
DUI — Serious Bodily Injury $5,000 maximum
Fourth DUI in 10 Years Minimum $2,000 or $4,000, depending on aggravation
DUI Manslaughter $10,000 maximum

As you can see, a DUI conviction can lead to significant fines. It can cost a small fortune just in fees and fines, coupled with court costs and other fees detailed above.

The Cost of DUI Attorney Representation

DUI representation is another cost that you must absorb if you are arrested for a DUI. You face significantly higher fines and jail time without an attorney and a robust defense.  

For example, an experienced attorney can obtain various favorable outcomes to DUI charges, such as reduced charges and dismissed charges. These outcomes directly affect the fines and other costs you may have to pay, reducing them according to the charge reduction.

DUI attorneys in Florida often charge a flat rate for first-time DUI offenders that may range from $2,500 to $5,000 or more. Generally speaking, DUI attorneys with great reputations and track records charge at the higher end of the range. 

If you are facing more serious charges, such as repeat offender charges or charges involving bodily injury, property damage, or death, the costs for representation will be higher. 

Increased Insurance Premiums Post-DUI

A DUI conviction will also wreak havoc on your insurance premiums. To insurers, a DUI conviction represents a substantial risk of liability. As such, insurance companies justifiably levy a DUI insurance rate increase on all those convicted of DUI.  

The following chart from Bankrate shows the average post-DUI-conviction increases in insurance premiums for five major insurance carriers.

Insurance Company Pre-DUI Premium Post-DUI Premium
Allstate $2,344 $5,018
Geico $1,200 $3.684
Progressive $1,708 $3,910
State Farm $1,512 $3,449
National General $1,599 $4,979

Although each case is different, the numbers show that Florida drivers with DUI convictions pay, on average, between 63% and 71% more for their car insurance than those without convictions. 

DUI and Loss of Income

Person looking at empty wallet after DUI caused loss of income

The repercussions of DUI convictions are not contained within the criminal justice system. In addition to criminal penalties, those convicted of DUI also face significant collateral impacts on their ability to earn a living. 

Truck drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, and delivery drivers are especially at risk of losing their jobs and essential income with a DUI conviction. Even without a conviction, these workers can lose their licenses within ten days of an arrest.

For those who do not drive for a living, the potential for financial troubles is still present. Many workers depend exclusively on their vehicles to get them to and from work and have no other viable options. Without a license, these laborers also face undesirable income consequences. 

Even if a worker has other means of transportation to get them to work, the court dates, DUI classes, and other DUI-related events cut deeply into work time, which is financially devastating for workers living paycheck to paycheck. 

For example, a wage worker who pulls in roughly $100 per day will likely suffer a considerable loss of income if arrested and convicted of DUI. First, the time they spend in jail will likely eat away at valuable work time, and the subsequent meetings with attorneys and the hearing to contest a license suspension will also cause a loss of income. 

By the time their attorney starts negotiating with the prosecutor, the wage worker could have already lost out on up to a week’s worth of work or 25% of their income.

If DUI classes are ordered, workers can expect even further income loss. First-time offenders may be ordered to attend a 12-hour DUI class and a 21-hour class for subsequent offenses. In addition to missing up to a week of work already, the worker will also miss out on another two or more days minimum when complying with DUI classroom requirements. 

For other higher-earning workers, the loss of income will be greater. Someone who makes $500 a day will suffer far heavier monetary losses complying with DUI requirements. That said, the more money someone makes, the more likely they are to be able to absorb the financial blows of DUI charges. 

Additional Expenses Associated With a DUI

There are many fees and costs that many simply do not figure into the costs of a DUI conviction. However, these costs represent a high percentage of the overall costs for a DUI. They include:

  • DUI school tuition;
  • License reinstatement costs;
  • Ignition interlock device costs and/or
  • Rehab programs or other alternative punishments, such as an alcohol ankle monitor.

In some instances, these additional expenses and costs can eclipse the fines that an offender has to pay. 

Long-Term Financial Impact of a DUI Conviction

Person upset after losing money due to a DUI conviction

At the end of the day, a DUI conviction affects nearly every facet of your life, which causes it to have long-term financial repercussions. Your credit score, for example, may end up losing numerous points after a DUI. 

Although a DUI does not appear on your credit report, the financial consequences may require you to use more credit than normal, which could lead to credit card delinquencies.

Additionally, you will have a criminal record if convicted of DUI. With a DUI on your record, you will likely find it very difficult to get any type of work driving a vehicle, but it is not impossible. Also, having a record of any type of conviction will disqualify you from various jobs. 

All in all, the overall stability of your financial circumstances will likely be shaken by a DUI conviction. Even long after serving any sentence and paying all of your fines, the financial consequences may still be problematic in the future. 

Comparing First-time vs. Repeat DUI Offenses

The following table lists a few of the differences in treatment received by first-time offenders compared to repeat offenders. 

Conviction Type Fine
First  $500 to $1,000
Second $1,000 to $2,000
Third (within 10 years) $2,000 to $5,000
First With Aggravating Factors $1,000 to $2,000
Second With Aggravating Factors $2,000 to $4,000
Third With Aggravating Factors Minimum $4,000
Fourth DUI in 10 Years Minimum $2,000 or $4,000, depending on aggravation

As you can see, first-time offenders can get away with costs of less than $1,000 in fines. However, with more repeat offenses, the fines could top $4,000.

Seeking Legal Advice for DUI Charges

If you are facing any type of DUI charge, you need seasoned representation from a firm with lawyers who know how to fight Florida DUI cases. You’ll also want a lawyer who understands how much a DUI costs in Florida and how to mitigate those costs. The Denson Firm has fought for and won favorable resolutions for DUI clients over many years. 

Whether you have been charged with a first-time DUI, aggravated DUI, or DUI manslaughter, give us a call and benefit from our extensive, effective DUI strategies. Contact us today to get started.

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