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Answering Your Questions About DUI

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a severe criminal charge, but there is a great deal about the process that you might not know. That’s why we at have gone ahead and pulled together some of the most common questions we get about DUIs.

When is a DUI a felony?

Most DUI charges in Florida are considered misdemeanors. However, some conditions would allow the state to charge you with a felony DUI, including:

  • Being involved in an accident that caused bodily injury or death
  • Having a 3rd – or greater – DUI conviction within ten years of a previous conviction.

Anyone facing a felony DUI is at risk for over a year in prison. A felony conviction is also highly damaging to your criminal record.

Will a DUI show on a background check?

Yes, it will. Both DUI convictions and arrests can show up on a background check. This means that a single DUI can have long-term effects on your prospects.

Will a DUI affect employment?

Having a DUI conviction or arrest on your background check can affect your employment prospects – depending on your career. If, for example, you are a truck driver, a DUI may mean the loss of your CDL. It may make it harder to find new work in the future. You may see significant difficulty maintaining a regular work schedule if you lose your license because of a DUI conviction.

Can a DUI be expunged?

The state of Florida will not expunge a DUI conviction. However, you may pursue an expungement for an arrest. To be clear, this is not a simple, straightforward process. It can be challenging to remove an arrest from your record, but it is possible.  

Can you get a DUI if you’re parked/not driving? 

If you are parked in your vehicle, asleep at the wheel – or anywhere that you can be considered “in control of the vehicle” – the state can charge you with a DUI. The key here is how the state defines control of the vehicle, which means if you have your car keys on you and are anywhere in the car, you are in control.

What are the penalties of a DUI?  

The basic penalties for a DUI are fines, jail time, license suspension and use of an ignition interlock device. However, the extensiveness of the fines, the length of your license suspension and jail time change depending on the severity of the DUI. You can see increased DUI penalties for a blood alcohol content over .15, multiple convictions and felony DUIs.

Should I submit to a field sobriety test?

You definitely should submit to a field sobriety test. Anyone who drives in Florida automatically consents to a field sobriety test. Refusing a test can automatically result in losing your license for at least 1 year.

Will I lose my license if I get a DUI?

Yes. Even for a first offense of a DUI, you can lose your drivers’ license for at least 180 days and up to a full year. With subsequent offenses, the period of license loss gets longer, and even can become permanent.

Will a DUI affect my citizenship application?

Any criminal conviction can have an adverse effect on your citizenship application. While this is a serious topic, it may not completely derail the application. It is in  your interest to vigorously fight a DUI charge when your citizenship is on the line.

Will a DUI affect a green card?

As it is a criminal conviction, it can have an effect on your green card. Once again, you may not lose your green card or immediately face deportation, you certainly can.

Get The Answers You Need, When You Need Them

We know that what is ahead is scary, and you may not know where to go or what you need. At Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys are experienced in defending clients across the Miami-Dade area in any charge. Reach out today by calling or sending us an email.