What if I Get Convicted of a DUI? What does a DUI conviction in Florida really mean?
Typically, a DUI under Florida law is a misdemeanor. A conviction for a DUI in the State of Florida will remain on your driving record for 75 years, in essence a lifetime. There’s no opportunity to seal or expunge a DUI conviction in Florida. The legislature and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have said that if you are convicted of a DUI under Florida law, that misdemeanor will remain on your criminal history for life.
In the event that your case is reduced or amended to a reckless driving, you may be eligible to seal your record if the reckless driving resulted in a conviction and adjudication was withheld. A withhold of adjudication on a reckless driving conviction, on a charge that was amended from a DUI, would therefore make you eligible to seal your record, assuming you have no other convictions on your criminal background. Those convictions are not just limited to the state of Florida, but outside of the state. Meaning that if you picked up any criminal history and you were adjudicated guilty outside of the state you will be prohibited from ever sealing anything in the state of Florida including a withhold on a reckless driving (reduced from a DUI).
That is why it’s important to speak to a skilled Florida DUI attorney after getting arrested, because in many instances evidence could be erased, destroyed, or memories will lapse over time and if evidence is not preserved it will be forever lost.
In addition, a DUI conviction in Florida will result in a mandatory increase in your driver’s insurance. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will require you to get a special insurance called FR44 and will require you to carry that on your policy for a period of 36 months. This special insurance has to be paid six months in advance and is usually very expensive. Aside from the court ramifications from a DUI conviction in Florida, the insurance ratifications are usually very expensive.