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Out-of-State Visitor DUI

The State of Florida released statistics in 2017, stating that 116.5 million visitors come to Florida annually. With all its beaches, amusement parks and other recreational attractions, Florida is one of the United State's largest tourist spots. However, Florida tourists are held to the same legal standards as residents.

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Florida do not disappear if you leave the state. Standard in-state DUIs is stressful, but being charged as a non-resident is even more complicated. You may be forced to spend even more in fees and take numerous costly trips to Florida.

Any person charged with a DUI in Florida should seek legal representation immediately.

Gainesville Lawyers for Out-of-State Visitor DUIs in Florida

Have you been arrested in Florida while visiting for a DUI? The state of Florida does still count your DUI on your record, even if you are from another state. A DUI in Florida can lead to serious penalties and hefty fines. If you were arrested for a DUI related offense but do not live in Florida, it is important that you seek help from a criminal defense attorney.

Galigani Law Firm has over twenty years of experience in handling DUI and DWI-related offenses for both residents and non-residents of Florida. Our attorneys are passionate about defending your rights. The waters of legal complexities can be choppy. Let us be the helm to your ship. Get in contact with Galigani Law Firm, a group of legal professionals who have been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Florida Bar's Certification Board. The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm have extensive experience representing clients visiting the greater North Central Florida area and surrounding counties including Levy County, Gilchrist County, Bradford County, Baker County, Alachua County, Union County, Marion County, and Columbia County.

Make a plan today. Take the first step with us. Call (352) 375-0812 or schedule an online appointment today.

Overview for Out-of-State Visitor DUIs in Florida


Elements for a DUI in Florida

Florida Statute § 316.193 states that it is illegal for a person to drive a motor vehicle if they are impaired due to the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance. The following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a person of driving under the influence (DUI):

  • The defendant normal faculties were impaired;
  • The defendant was driving or in physical control of the motor vehicle; and
  • The defendant impairment was caused by consuming alcohol or a controlled substance.

Alongside this, the defendant must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.0 or above. Take note however, that the prosecution can still convict you of a DUI if you refuse to blow for a breathalyzer.


Florida's "Zero Tolerance" Law

The "zero tolerance" law in Florida is applied to minors driving under the influence. Any person under the age of 21, in Florida, who is pulled over and determined to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 or above will automatically have their license suspended and a possible DUI.

Additionally, if a minor refuses to perform a field sobriety or breathalyzer test their license is automatically suspended for a full year. Minors may also have to handle driving under the influence charges based on the discretion of the police officer. Florida's "zero-tolerance" laws apply to all minors, visitors or residents.


Penalties for Non-Resident DUIs in Florida

Every person in the Floridian state limits is expected to follow the State's laws and guidelines. Even people visiting the state are expected to adhere to these rules. A person driving impaired is a violation of Florida's DUI laws.

The penalty for a first-time DUI offender in the state of Florida includes:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to one year of probation
  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
  • Application of a ignition interlock device

The penalty for a second-time DUI offender in the state of Florida includes:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Up to nine months in jail
  • Driver's license suspension up to one year
  • Completion of a alcohol and controlled substance DUI program
  • Vehicle impoundment for thirty days
  • Application of ignition interlock device

With each DUI charge, the penalties will be enhanced. At its maximum a driving under the influence charge can have a maximum penalty of up to five years of jail time.


Reducing Court Appearances with a Florida DUI Case

In-state driving under the influence (DUI) charges is already known to be costly. Now, add in the back-and-forth travel potentially required for an out-of-state DUI. Your presence in court is required for most hearings. This is why it is important to hire a practiced criminal defense attorney.

A good criminal defense attorney can help your costs by taking over the paperwork and implementing specific strategies to reduce your participation in Florida courts. Some strategies an experienced criminal defense attorney may use include:

  • Plea in absentia
  • Mail-in probation
  • Plea bargaining down to a wet reckless with deferred adjudication
  • Fighting to have the case dismissed before trial
  • Transference of probation, community service, and other sanctions to your home state

All strategies to save your presence in court depend on the circumstances of your case. Even if your case doesn't implement any of these techniques, there are other ways to save you traveling costs. It is recommended if you are a visitor with a DUI in Florida, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Interstate Driver's License Compact

Many believe that if you receive a driving-related offense in another state, you will not receive any legal consequences in your home state. This, however, is a big misconception. In reality, if you do not handle your charge within Florida state laws your home state will take legal action.

The Driver's License Compact is an agreement between 46 states, including Florida, that they are to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations incurred by residents out-of-state. The data is uploaded to the National Driver Register, where another state's courts can look up if any violations happened while the visitor was out-of-state.

Once the courts exchange information, your home state will apply its own DUI penalties to your driving privilege. The only states not involved in the exchange are Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Georgia. It is advised to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you've received a DUI out-of-state.


Additional Resources

DUI and IID – Visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website, a resource that provides oversight, education, and monitoring for licensed Driving Under the Influence (DUI) programs in Florida. Read about the DHSMV Bureau of Motorist Compliance, the statutes and specifics that go alongside that.

Florida Statute 316.193 – Visit the website of the Florida Legislature and read the legal language surrounding driving under the influence charges and penalties. Read the elements that categorize a person as driving under the influence, the exceptions, and what happens to repeat offenders.


Find an Attorney for Out-of-State Visitor DUIs in Florida

If you have been charged with a DUI but are not a resident of Florida, legal repercussions are still in place. It is advisable that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Galigani Law Firm.

The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm are practiced in Florida DUI and other driving-related offenses. We have over twenty years of handling trial and pre-trial for criminal cases in Florida. Galigani Law Firm have been added as members of prestigious legal groups such as the 8th Judicial Circuit Bar Administration, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (FACDL). Galigani Law Firm have defended out-of-state visitors with DUIs all over the greater Alachua County area and adjoining counties including Ocala in Marion County, Macclenny in Baker County, Lake Butler in Union County, Trenton in Gilchrist County, Bronson in Levy County, Gainesville in Alachua County, and Starke in Bradford County.

In addition to this, Galigani Law Firm have represented individuals arrested by the Bronson Police Department, the Office of Union County Sheriff, the Lake City Police Department, the University of Florida Police Department (UFPD), the Trenton Police Department, the Ocala Police Department, the Office of Alachua County Sheriff, the Office of Levy County's Sheriff, and the Gainesville Police Department.

Do not linger on your DUI. Just because you are not in the state of Florida does not mean you are exempt from charges. Call (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form today.


This article was last updated by Jordan Anderson, on June 27th, 2018.