DUI with Property Damage in Pinellas County

Although most DUI arrests involve a routine traffic stop, in some cases, the DUI investigation is triggered by a crash investigation. In many ways, these cases are more difficult for the prosecutor to prove at trial because:

  • the arresting officer didn’t see who was driving;
  • the arresting officer can’t distinguish between “impairment” caused by alcohol as opposed to injuries from the crash;
  • the driver’s statements might fall under the “accident report privilege”;
  • the arresting officer didn’t read Miranda warnings properly; and
  • cases with blood or urine test results are more complicated.

If you were arrested for DUI with Property Damage in Pinellas County, FL, then two cases are pending against you.

First, most DUI cases involve an  “on-the-spot” suspension of your driver’s license that should be challenged by demanding a formal review hearing at the DHSMV in Clearwater, FL. You only have ten (10) calendar days after the arrest to file the demand for the formal review hearing.

Second, the DUI case will be prosecuted at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse in Clearwater, Pinellas County, FL. Your arraignment in front of the judge will be scheduled approximately 30 days after the arrest. Your attorney can usually waive your appearance at your initial court dates.

Most DUI offenses in Pinellas County, FL, are eligible for a diversion program called DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P.). However, DUI cases involving “significant property damage” are not eligible for this diversion program.

Attorney for DUI with Property Damage in Clearwater, FL

If you were arrested for DUI with property damage after a crash, contact the experienced DUI defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area, including Pinellas County, FL.

Our offices are at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd, Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762, just a short distance from the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse on 49th street.

Our offices are in the same office complex as the DHSMV Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) in Clearwater, FL.

During the initial consultation, we can discuss how to protect your driver’s license by demanding a formal review hearing within ten (10) days of the arrest and how to fight the charges in court for the best possible result.

Call 727-210-7004.

Bond Schedule for DUI with Property Damage in Pinellas County, FL

Pinellas County, FL, issued an administrative order 2021-016 that governs the uniform bond schedule for different crimes. For DUI or BUI causing property damage as a first or second office under § 316.193(3)(c)1, or § 327.35(3)(c)1, Fla. Stat., the uniform bond schedule for Pinellas County, FL, provides:

  • a low bond of $250;
  • a high bond of $1,000; and
  • a recommended bond of $500.

With two prior convictions, a third offense for DUI or BUI with property damage has a uniform bond schedule that provides:

  • a low bond of $500;
  • a high bond of $2,500; and
  • a recommended bond of $1,000

The administrative order 2021-016 that governs the uniform bond schedule in Pinellas County also provides that for any DUI and BUI, under § 316.193(9) and 327.35(8), Fla. Stat., either with or without property damage, the defendant must be held until his or her blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level is less than 0.05 or eight (8) hours have elapsed from the time that he or she was arrested.

If you were taken to the hospital after a crash, you might be arrested for DUI with property damage at the hospital and given a “Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Supervision Notice” that requires you to later report in person to:

  • Supervised ROR (SROR)
  • GPS Monitoring
  • Alcohol Monitoring
  • Day Reporting

If so, you might be asked to report to the County Justice Center at the CJC courthouse at 14250 – 49th Street North, Suite 1300, Clearwater, FL 33762. The phone number for the County Justice Center is 727-464-6410. The notice might required you to report between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on at date specified in the notice. The notice provides: “Failure to report at the above time and date may result in a warrant being issued.” You might be asked to sign the form and verified: “I have read a copy of the above instructions.’

Elements of DUI Property Damage in Florida

For a DUI with property damage, the crime is charged under Florida Statute 316.193(1) and (3)(c)(1). At trial, the prosecutor is required to prove each of the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt:

  1. the defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida;
  2. the defendant caused damage to the property of another;
  3. the defendant was either:
    • under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical or controlled substance, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired; or
    • had a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; or
    • had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.

Penalties for DUI with Property Damage in Florida

“DUI with Property Damage” is charged as a first degree misdemeanor in Florida. Although most first degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail or on probation and a $1,000 fine, the statute for “DUI with property damage” imposes additional minimum and maximum penalties, including:

  • up to twelve (12) months on probation or in jail;
  • completion of the FLHSMV-approved DUI School, which includes a twelve (12) hour education component;
  • completion of any substance abuse counseling recommended after a psychosocial evaluation;
  • 50 hours of community service;
  • a fine of $500 to $1,000;
    • with a child passenger or a BAC over .15, the fine is $1,000 to $2,000 for a first DUI;
  • a ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle;
  • a court-ordered driver’s license revocation for six (6) to twelve (12) months.

The court is not required to order the ignition interlock device unless a child passenger was present, the BAC was over .15, or the defendant has a prior DUI conviction.

In most DUI with property damage cases, the court will require the defendant to attend at least one M.A.D.D. Victim Impact Panel.

For defendants who live or work in Pinellas County, FL, the DUI School is managed by Suncoast Safety Council from their office located at 1145 Court St, Clearwater, 33756. The DUI School in Pinellas County, FL, also has a second location at 455 31st St N, St. Pete 33713.

This article was last updated on Monday, May 13, 2023.