In Florida, around 1 in every 135 people will be stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) at some point in their life. It can be a terrifying time, and the penalties can include a criminal record, which could affect you for the rest of your life. But you should know that you are not alone, and if you hire an attorney from The Law Place, they will have already dealt with numerous cases similar to yours.
If you face a second or third DUI charge, then the penalties could be much more severe, which is why it is a good idea to seek help from a reputable law firm.
With 75 years of experience collectively, many of our attorneys are AVVO rated 10.0, which is the highest possible rating based on client reviews, awards, length of practice, and more. Our DUI defense attorneys have the experience and knowledge to give your case the best chance of dismissal or a reduced charge.
Contact us today for a free consultation and find out what we can do for you. Call us now at (941) 444-4444.
What Happens if You Get Two DUIs in Clearwater?
The outcome of a second DUI conviction is dependent on several things. As with any DUI conviction, penalties will be increased if any aggravating circumstances apply, for example:
- Your blood alcohol level (BAC) was above 0.15%.
- You had a minor in the car.
- If your actions caused an accident.
- If someone was injured.
Another key factor is how much time has elapsed since your last offense. If more than 5 years have passed, then the consequences will be similar to your first DUI.
However, there will still be some key differences. For a second DUI conviction after 5 years has elapsed, with no mitigating circumstances, the following applies:
- Hardship license – You will not be entitled to apply for a hardship license, which means you could lose your license for 6-12 months without the possibility of a license to get you to and from work.
- Prison – You could be sentenced to prison for 9 months instead of 6 months.
- Fine – The fine will be increased from $500-$1,000 to $1,000-$2,000.
- Ignition lock – An ignition interlock device will be installed in your car for one year, which means that you will have to take a breathalyzer test every time you drive.
For a free legal consultation with a 2nd or 3rd dui offenses lawyer serving Clearwater, call 941-444-4444
What Happens if the Second Charge Is Within Five Years of The First?
If you are convicted for a second DUI within 5 years of the first in Clearwater, then the following will apply:
- Drivers license revocation – Your driving license will be revoked for a minimum of 5 years, and you will not be able to apply for a hardship license in the first 12 months.
- Prison – You will serve a minimum of 10 days in prison and a maximum of 9 months. Unless you had a BAC of over 0.15% or you had someone under 18 in the car, in which case you could serve 12 months. If anyone in the accident was seriously injured, then you could serve significantly longer.
- Probation – A probation period of a maximum of 12 months.
- Fine – A mandatory fine between $1,000 – $2,000, unless a minor was in the car or you had a high BAC reading, in which case the fine will range between $2,000-$4,000.
- Community service – Compulsory fifty hours of community service. If you cannot commit to these hours, you can pay for them at a rate of $10 an hour.
- Car impoundment – Any car registered in your name will be impounded for a minimum of 30 days. Exceptions may be made if the vehicle is registered to a company or another member of your household needs to use it.
- Hardship reinstatement – You will only be eligible to apply for a hardship license after one year. However, you will only be granted one if you attend DUI School, use an interlock device, and participate in a supervision program.
- Compulsory ignition interlock device – The court will impose a compulsory ignition interlock device fitted in your vehicle for a minimum of 24 months.
- DUI School – You must attend DUI school at a level 2 grade. This will involve attending classes, taking a substance abuse assessment, and completing any recommended treatment.
Clearwater 2nd or 3rd DUI Offenses Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Third DUI Conviction in Clearwater, Florida
If you are convicted of a DUI for the third time, within 10 years of any other convictions, then the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) can revoke your driver’s license for up to 10 years.
Penalties for a 3rd Offence Not Within 10 Years
You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense, which means that the ruling and penalties will be similar to a first DUI conviction, except for an accompanying ignition lock device for two years. The maximum jail time increases to 12 months.
Again, if any aggravating circumstances are involved, such as a minor in the car or a BAC of 0.15% or more, or your actions caused an accident, then you could be facing much harsher penalties.
Penalties Following a Third DUI Within Ten Years
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the judge can impose a felony or a misdemeanor conviction.
If the judge decides that a third-degree felony is the most suitable conviction for your case, then you could spend up to 5 years in prison and be made to pay a fine of $5,000.
- Jail time – A jail sentence could range between 3 days and 5 years.
- Fines – Fines range between $2,000-$5000.
- Vehicle impoundment – Any vehicles belonging to you will be impounded for a minimum of 90 days. The exception is if it belongs to a business or another member of your household needs access to the vehicle.
- Driving license revocation – You could lose your license for 10 years or more. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to apply for hardship reinstatement after 2 years following DUI school, and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device.
Ten Day Rule for a Formal Hearing in Clearwater, Florida
Following a DUI arrest, you have 10 days to request a formal hearing to review your case. We highly suggest that you do this, as it could massively help your case, and you will receive a 42-day permit so that you can continue to drive while your case is worked out.
Speak to a Clearwater DUI criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, and together they will make sure to do everything possible to aid your case.
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Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Clearwater, Florida
Under Florida law, DUI convictions are a serious matter that could have a huge impact on your life. Whether it is your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd offense, you need help from a law firm with experience in DUI law.
As you can see, the laws surrounding DUI convictions are complex, and the penalties you could be facing vary widely. It can be hard to get your head around.
When you contact our law firm, we will give you a free, no-obligation consultation. We will listen to the details of your case and provide some clarity.
If you decide to hire one of our DUI defense attorneys, then we will first review your case as a team. That way, your DUI conviction case can be reviewed from every angle, and you can benefit from our combined knowledge and experience. Following this, a committed lawyer with experience in DUI law will become your advocate. It is their job to do everything possible to lower your charges or have them dismissed.
So contact us today for a free consultation on (941) 444-4444.