DUI While Damaging Florida Property

Driving under the influence of alcohol is defined as operating or controlling the functions of a motor vehicle while having a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or above. Driving under the influence and causing property damage is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, even without a criminal record.

The penalties for driving under the influence and causing property damage are far more serious than regular DUI charges. Not only could being convicted of a DUI with property damage have criminal consequences, but an offender can be subject to a civil suit for property damage.

Attorney for DUI with Property Damage in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Our attorneys have taken DUI cases, including those involving property damage for years. We counsel clients from start to finish and work with them to create the best possible defense to these types of charges.

Our office is located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. We serve clients faced with DUI charges throughout the Miami-Metropolitan area, in counties like Palm Beach, Collier, Hendry, and Miami-Dade County.

Call (954) 500-5555 for more information about second-time DUI offenses.

Broward County DUI with Property Damage Information Center

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Elements of DUI Causing Property Damage in Florida

Under Florida law, an individual may be charged under § 316.193(3)(a)(b)(c)1, F.S. of driving under the influence causing property damage if the State proves the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • the offender was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle;
  • the offender, while in physical control of the motor vehicle, committed one or both of the following:
    • he or she had a BAC of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
    • he or she was under the influence of a chemical substance, controlled substance, or alcoholic beverage such that his or her normal facilities were impaired; and
  • the offender caused or contributed to the victim's property damage due to his or hers operation of the motor vehicle.

Under the Statute, impaired is defined as "diminished in some material respect."  The Florida Criminal Jury Instruction for F.S. § 316.193(a)(b)(c)1 was adopted and amended in 2009.

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Penalties for DUI with Property Damage Conviction in FL

Under Florida law, a person who is convicted of DUI with property damage for the first time may be subject to up to $1,000 fines and up to six (6) months in jail.

Similar to other DUI offenses, the penalties for DUI with property damage offenses accumulate after each conviction and cause harsher penalties.

Second Conviction DUI with Property Damage

For a second conviction, an offender may be subject to the following:

  • Fines – up to $2,000 fines;
  • Jail – up to nine (9) months;
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (IID) — the court will impose a mandatory IID placed for at least one year.

Enhanced Penalties for DUI with Property Damage

For a third DUI, fourth DUI, or subsequent convictions, the penalties become harsher. Moreover, the penalties for these offenses may be separated by how close in time they occur between one another or BAC level.

Under Subsection (4) of this Statute, if an individual has a BAC of 0.15 or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense, then the penalty is as follows:

  • Fine – of up to $2,000;
  • Jail – for up to nine (9) months;
  • IID – mandatory IID placement for up to two years.

Felony DUI with Property Damage

Under this Statute, any person who is convicted of a third DUI violation that occurs within ten (10) years after the prior conviction is guilty of a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines.

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Civil Penalties for DUI with Property Damage in Florida

Along with potential criminal penalties that may accompany a DUI with property damage charge, a defendant may have to reimburse a victim for property damage under Florida law. Most often, the DUI offender will be subject to an insurance claim by the victim for motor vehicle damage. DUI offenders have, however,  in some instances hit buildings, mailboxes, and other objects that they later have to replace.

An individual may be able to sue a DUI offender for negligence. Negligence can be described as failing to act with reasonable care to prevent injury.  

If successfully, an individual may be able to recover up to the full value of the property that was damaged.

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Additional Resources

Florida Statute §316.193 – Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language concerning property damage due to an offender's driving under the influence in Broward County, Florida. Online Sunshine provides access to all official versions of the Florida Statutes, including the administrative codes and the criminal codes.

Reinstating License After DUI – Visit the Florida DMV for more information about the steps a DUI offender in Broward County, FL must take in order to reinstate his or her license or apply for a hardship to have your license reinstated for business or employment purposes after a first-time DUI charge.

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Find a Personal Injury Lawyer for DUI with Property Damage in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has been accused of drinking and driving, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will help provide the best possible defense and attempt to get your offenses dropped.

We represent clients throughout Ft. Lauderdale in Broward County, and in the surrounding counties of Collier County, Hendry County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County.

Call (954) 500-5555 for more information about how to get your charges reduced from DUI to wet reckless.

This Article Was Last Updated Wednesday, April 5, 2017. 

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