If you are facing a second or third charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in North Port, then you must seek legal counsel from a reputable law firm that can provide you with the support and guidance that you need.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, and it can result in a third-degree felony charge, which carries a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or more, then the risks become even higher. If you have been guilty of multiple DUI offenses in the past, then the punishments will be even worse, and you will need a criminal defense lawyer to fight your current charges in North Port.
The Law Place has accumulated over seventy-five years of experience in handling DUI cases and fighting for the rights of clients all over the State of Florida. Our law firm has managed hundreds of DUI cases like yours with great success, and we will provide relentless representation for your case.
Our team of DUI lawyers has the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct an independent investigation of your charge, gather facts and evidence, and build a strong case to present in court. We are aware that various DUI tests, such as a breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, can often come back with false-positive results. If you believe that you have been wrongfully accused, then we strongly advise that you speak to one of our DUI lawyers today.
Our law firm will set up a free consultation, in which a criminal defense lawyer will review the details of your case and offer you honest advice on the best move to make going forward. Call today – our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Definition of Driving Under the Influence in North Port, FL.
There are many charges that an individual might face if they are arrested for drunk driving. Florida Statute 316.193 states that an individual might face a DUI conviction if they were to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, any chemical substance in Florida Statute 877.111, or any substance controlled under Chapter 893, when their normal faculties are impaired, or they have a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08% or more.
Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction in North Port, FL.
A second or third DUI charge has far more serious consequences than a first offense. It is important that you are aware of the penalties that you might be facing.
A conviction for a second DUI will have different penalties depending on whether your second offense occurred within a five-year period of the first DUI conviction or not. You can find this information on your driving record.
If your second DUI charge occurs five years after the previous offense, then the consequences will be similar to your first DUI conviction. However, there will be a few differences in the terms.
You will not be able to apply for a hardship driver’s license once you have been charged for the second time. If the court decides to suspend your license for a certain period, then you will not have the option to drive at all. In this case, your license suspension will usually last up to twelve months. In addition, you will face a nine-month prison sentence and receive a fine of between $1,000 and $2,000. Furthermore, you will have an ignition interlock device set up in your vehicle, which will remain for a year.
If you are facing charges for a second DUI offense that occurred within five years of the first DUI charge, then you can face the following penalties:
- Driver’s license suspension – The court can decide to suspend your driver’s license for a minimum of five years. You are not allowed to sit behind a steering wheel for the first twelve months, but you may or may not be eligible to apply for a hardship license after the time has passed.
- Jail time – The court will sentence you to spend up to ten days in jail. The maximum amount of jail time you will receive is up to nine months. However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was 0.15% or above, or a minor was present in the vehicle at the arrest, then you will have to spend up to twelve months in jail.
- Probation time – You can face a maximum probation period of up to twelve months.
- Fines – The court will make you pay a fine between $1,000 and $2,000. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was 0.15% or above, or a minor was present in the vehicle at the arrest, then the fines will increase to $2,000 or $4,000.
- Community service – The court will mandate that you perform up to 50 hours of community service. In some cases, you might have the option to buy some of the hours, which will cost you $10 per hour of community service.
- Vehicle impoundment – The court will order the impoundment of any car that is registered in your name for a minimum of thirty days. However, if another member of your household needs the vehicle, then an exception can be made.
- Hardship license reinstatement – You will not be eligible to apply for a hardship license in the first twelve months after a DUI charge. However, after this time, you might be able to apply once you have met these certain criteria:
- Complete a course at DUI school.
- Attend a DUI supervision program. If you do not meet the criteria or miss a meeting, then it will result in the revocation of your hardship license.
- Proof that you have not consumed alcohol or drugs while driving prior to reinstatement.
- DUI school – The court will order you to attend DUI school, which will mean that you must complete a level two course, a substance abuse assessment, and any follow-up treatment.
- Ignition interlock device – The court will mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device to be fitted in your vehicle for a minimum of twelve months. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was 0.15% or above, or a minor was present in the vehicle at the arrest, then the time will increase to twenty-four months.
Third DUI Conviction in North Port, FL.
If you are convicted of a third DUI offense within ten years of a previous DUI charge on your driving record, then the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) will revoke your driver’s license for up to ten years. This ten-year revocation will happen even if you committed one of the DUI offenses outside of the State of Florida.
The ten-year revocation is usually prompted by the court when the third DUI conviction happened within ten years of the second DUI offense. It is important for you to calculate the dates from your previous DUI conviction to your current DUI conviction in order to determine whether it falls within or outside of the ten years.
The State of Florida declares you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor if the third DUI conviction falls outside of the ten-year period from your previous DUI offense. The penalties for this are similar to a first DUI offense, except that the minimum jail time will be twelve months, and you will have to deal with the ignition interlock device for up to two years.
Penalties for a Third DUI Conviction Within 10 Years in North Port, FL.
The judge in the State of Florida can rule whether your third DUI within ten years of a previous DUI charge will be classed as a misdemeanor or a felony crime.
If a judge rules the third DUI as a misdemeanor, then you will face the following consequences:
- Jail time – You will have to spend up to 3 days in jail. However, it can increase to a year of jail time.
- Fines – You will have to pay a fine between $2,000 and $5,000. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was 0.15% or above, or a minor was present in the vehicle at the arrest, then you will face a minimum fine of $4,000.
- Vehicle impoundment – Your vehicle will be impounded for up to ninety days.
- Driver’s license suspension – Your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of ten years. Furthermore, you will not be able to apply for a hardship license reinstatement during the first two years. After the two years have passed, you might be eligible for a hardship license. However, it will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. You could avoid the ten-year suspension of your license by hiring a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place that can fight to get your third DUI charges reduced to a less serious offense, such as reckless driving.
- Hardship license reinstatement following a ten-year suspension – You could be eligible to apply for the reinstatement of a hardship license by completing the first two years of the suspension period and DUI school.
- Ignition interlock device – You will have an ignition interlock device set up in your vehicle for up to twenty-four months.
- DUI school – You will have to attend and complete DUI school as part of your probation period. You will have to attend classes, take a substance abuse assessment, and complete any recommended treatment.
If your third DUI conviction is ruled as a felony crime, then you will be charged with a third-degree felony, which carries a fine as high as $5,000, and you will have to spend up to five years in prison.
Contact The Law Place Today in North Port, FL.
If you are facing a second or third DUI charge, then you might be feeling uncertain of what to do next. We highly recommend that you hire a criminal defense lawyer with the experience to investigate and tackle your case in North Port.
The implications of a second or third DUI charge are severe, and it will have a very serious effect on your personal and professional life. The Law Place has over seventy-five years of combined experience in protecting the legal rights of clients who are facing DUI charges throughout the State of Florida. Our practice areas cover all types of criminal traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI), reckless driving, and more.
Our team of DUI defense lawyers understands the complex nature of second or third DUI offenses, and we will explain the laws on drunk driving to you. If you choose to put your faith in us, then we will make sure that you have not been wrongfully charged by a police officer in North Port. We understand that sometimes even devices used by law enforcement can produce inaccurate results, and we want to be the ones to help you in the State of Florida.
Call today to set up a free consultation in which a DUI defense lawyer will investigate your charges, gather evidence, speak to eyewitnesses, and develop a strong case to battle the accusations in court against the prosecutor. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight your second or third DUI charge together in the State of Florida.