An average of 1 in 135 adults will be apprehended for driving under the influence (DUI) during their lifetime. This is a statistic released by the State of Florida that can be found on their website. Following a 2nd or 3rd DUI charge, you may well be feeling apprehensive and anxious about the consequences. You will know that the consequences will be far more severe than a first offense, but the exact severity of the increase in penalties will likely be unclear to you. Being arrested for DUI usually doesn’t involve intent, as most people do not plan to drive whilst under the influence, so DUI arrests tend to come as a shock. Following a 2nd or 3rd DUI, you could be faced with severe penalties and lifelong repercussions.
You may not have been intoxicated whilst driving. Many people believe they have been falsely accused of a DUI offense; at least 1 in 10 convictions. Here at The Law Place, our DUI lawyers understand that the various tests, such as field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, can come back with false positives. If you believe that you have been falsely accused, then we highly advise that you seek legal advice.
There are many legal firms in the State of Florida. Here at The Law Place, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Do not hesitate to contact us for free legal advice at (941) 444-4444.
Penalties Following a 2nd DUI Conviction
A second DUI conviction can vary depending on whether it happened within five years of the first DUI conviction or out of the five-year time frame. This information can be found on your driving record, which the police and courts will have access to.
If your DUI offense falls outside of five years to any previous offense, then the terms and consequences will be like those of a 1st DUI. However, there will be some differences.
You will be disqualified from being able to apply for a hardship driver’s license after you have been charged. This means that if your license is suspended by the court, you will not be able to drive at all, with no exceptions. This is usually for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum prison sentence you will face increases to nine months instead of six months. The fines double, going from $500-$1,000 to $1,000-$2,000. Furthermore, an ignition interlock device will be installed in your vehicle for a year.
If you are being charged for a 2nd DUI offense within five years of a previous DUI arrest, then the following penalties can be enforced:
- Withdrawal of driver’s license – If you are being charged for a second DUI within a five-year time frame, then the court can rule a withdrawal of your license, which can be a minimum of five years. You will not be allowed to drive at all within the first twelve months and can apply for a hardship license afterward. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, this may not be granted.
- Imprisonment – The court will impose a minimum of ten days in prison, of which 48 hours will be consecutive jail time. The maximum imprisonment time is up to nine months or can be increased to twelve months if the BAC reading came back at 0.15% or higher or if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
- Probation period – This period can be up to a maximum of twelve months.
- Charges – The court will fine you with a minimum charge of $1,000, which can increase up to $2,000. The fines will be a lot greater if the BAC reading came back at 0.15% or higher and if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. The increase can range from $2,000 to $4,000.
- Community service – The court will enforce 50 hours of community service with the option to buy some of those hours. Each hour of community service costs $10.
- Vehicle impoundment – The court will enforce the penalty of impounding any car that is registered in your name; this is for a minimum of thirty days. However, an exception can be made if another member of your household requires the use of the vehicle or if the vehicle is registered to a business.
- Hardship reinstatement – You cannot apply and will not be eligible for a hardship license during the first twelve months. But you can apply after that with certain criteria being met:
- The completion of DUI school.
- During the remainder of the revocation period, you must take part in a DUI supervision program. If you fail to meet these criteria or miss a session, then this will result in your hardship license being revoked.
- Prior to reinstatement, you must have proof that you have not taken or consumed any intoxicating substances whilst operating a vehicle.
- DUI school – The court will enforce an obligatory ruling to attend DUI school, where you will be required to complete a level two course, which includes a substance abuse assessment and any subsequent follow-up treatment.
- Obligatory ignition interlock device – The court will enforce an ignition interlock device being fitted to your car for a minimum of twelve months. However, if your BAC reading came back at 0.15% or higher, or if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, this will increase to twenty-four months.
Third DUI Conviction Offense in Fort Myers
If the third DUI offense results in a conviction that has occurred within 10 years of any previous DUI offense registered on your driving record, then the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV)will implement a ten-year withdrawal of your driving license. This 10-year withdrawal will happen even if one of the DUIs happened outside of state and was not known to the court or judge during the trial or sentencing.
The ten-year withdrawal is prompted when a third DUI conviction date is within ten years of the second DUI conviction date. It is important to determine whether your newest DUI case will be considered a third DUI within 10 years or outside of 10 years. This is done by reviewing your most recent DUI offense and measuring it against your current offense in order to determine whether it falls within or out of the ten year period.
Florida law stipulates that if a third DUI happens outside of ten years of a previous DUI, then you will subsequently be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense. The outcomes and penalties are similar to a first DUI, except the statutory maximum jail sentence is twelve months, and the ignition interlock device is obligatory for two years.
Penalties Following a Third DUI Within 10 Years
Under Florida law, the judge can rule whether a third driving under the influence within ten years of any previous DUI’s can be ruled as a misdemeanor or a felony.
If the judge charges the offense as a third DUI within ten years of a previous DUI as a misdemeanor, there will be subsequent repercussions and harsh penalties:
- Imprisonment – You will face a minimum of 3 days in jail. At least 48 hours are consecutive. This can then increase to 364 days of imprisonment.
- Charges – You will be charged with a monetary fine of at least $2,000 up to $5,000. However, if the BAC reading came back at 0.15% or higher or if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the court can fine you no less than $4,000.
- Vehicle impoundment – The court will enforce an obligatory ruling that your car will be impounded for ninety days.
- Driving license revocation – Following a third DUI conviction, your driving license will be withdrawn for a minimum of ten years. You will not be eligible to apply for a hardship reinstatement for the first two years. After that, it will depend on the specific circumstances.
- Hardship reinstatement following a ten-year revocation – If a ten-year revocation has been ruled by the courts following a third DUI conviction, then before you are entitled to apply for reinstatement for hardship purposes, you must complete the following:
- Need to have served the first two years of the revocation,
- Have completed and be cleared from DUI school.
However, if you get the third DUI sentence reduced to a less severe offense such as reckless driving, you can avoid the 10-year revocation.
- Obligatory ignition interlock device – The court will enforce an obligatory requirement that you have an ignition interlock device installed in your car for at least twenty-four months.
- DUI school – The court will enforce an obligation for you to attend and complete DUI school. This will be a condition of your probation. This will entail you to attend classes, take a substance abuse assessment, and complete any treatment that has been recommended.
If the case is ruled as a felony, it will be charged as a third-degree felony, meaning that you will face a monetary fine of $5,000 and will serve up to five years in prison.
Demanding a Formal Review Hearing – Ten Day Rule
Following a driving under the influence charge, you have 10 days to request a formal review hearing. The only way to challenge the administrative postponement of your driving license following a third DUI arrest is to do so within the first ten days.
We advise that following a third DUI, it is essential to request a formal review hearing. You would be unwise not to do so. However, if you have any previous DUI convictions or previous administrative postponements, then you will not qualify for immediate reinstatement.
It is essential that you hire a criminal defense lawyer to assist you in requesting a formal review hearing and aid you in obtaining a forty-two-day permit. This way, you can still drive during your court case whilst your lawyer irons out the penalties you are being charged with.
Contact The Law Place in Fort Myers
The implications following a second or third DUI case in the State of Florida will be severe. Not only will you be charged with serious penalties, but it will have an effect on your personal life.
Any DUI is considered a serious offense in Florida, but the penalties become far worse following multiple DUI charges. The laws surrounding a DUI charge in the State of Florida are very complex and can become difficult to understand. For this reason, we highly recommend that you seek legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer in order for them to explain the repercussions. Following that, a lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed and aid you in reducing the penalties you are being charged with.
Here at The Law Place, a lawyer will be able to provide you with legal advice for either a 2nd DUI or a third driving under the influence case. With years of experience behind us, we are skilled in DUI cases. Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 to receive a free consultation and discuss your DUI case with a lawyer.