The State of Florida realized statistics stating that an astonishing 1 in 135 adults will be stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) during their lifetime. Receiving your first DUI can cause anxiety, but a second and third DUI will be far more daunting as the penalties will be more severe. It’s a known fact that the penalties will be worse, but the specific consequences may be unclear to you. Being apprehended for driving under the influence does not tend to involve intent, as you will likely not have planned on doing so. Following an arrest for driving under the influence, you may be feeling shaken up. If this is your second or third DUI, then you will be feeling worse for wear, knowing that the penalties are going to have potentially lifelong effects. In such situations, contacting a seasoned Sarasota criminal defense lawyer is very important.
It has been rumored that at least 1 in 10 convictions for driving under the influence have either been falsely accused or the evidence was not concrete. As with first time DUIs in Sarasota, Florida, you may not have even broken the law. Your blood alcohol levels could potentially have not actually been over the legal limit. Our team of Sarasota DUI lawyers have a wealth of experience when it comes to dealing with such DUI convictions and knows that sometimes breathalyzer tests come back as false positives. We highly recommend that you seek legal advice if you have been charged with a DUI, whether it be your first, second, or third time.
In the State of Florida, we know there are various legal firms that could represent you. Here at The Law Place, we have years of combined experience and are truly dedicated to our clients. Why not call us today to find out more. For a free consultation, call us at (941) 444-4444.
What Happens If You Get Two DUIs in Florida?
The outcomes of a second DUI conviction are dependent on the circumstances of how and when they happened. The penalties will vary depending on whether the conviction happened within five years of the first DUI or after five years has passed. Such information will be held against your driving licenses, and both the police and courts will be able to attain such information.
If the DUI conviction happened five years after the first offense, then the outcomes will be somewhat the same as of the 1st DUI, but there will be some differences as stated below:
- Following the charges, you will not be entitled to apply for a hardship driver’s license. Meaning that if the court rules a suspension of your driving license, you will not be entitled to drive, with no exceptions, even for work purposes. A time frame will be set for the suspension. This tends to be for 6 months or up to 12 following the ruling.
- You could face imprisonment of up to 9 months instead of 6 months.
- The fine will be far heftier, ranging between $1,000-$2,000 instead of $500-$1,000.
- In addition, an ignition interlock device will be installed in your car for one year.
If you have been convicted for a second DUI offense that falls within five years of the first, then the charges will differ.
- Suspension of driving license – Your driving license can be revoked for a minimum of five years if you are being convicted for a second DUI within five years or less of the first. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, you may be entitled to apply for a hardship license. This is after 12 months has passed since the initial ruling.
- Jail time – A ruling by the court will be made, and you will have to serve a minimum of 10 days of imprisonment. Of that 48 hours will have to be uninterrupted. However, the maximum amount of time you can be sentenced to jail for is 9 months. Yet, if there was a minor present in the car at the time of the arrest or your blood alcohol level (BAC) was at 0.15% or above, then you could be sentenced to 12 months in prison.
- Probation period – This can be in a time frame of a maximum of 12 months.
- Fines – The court will rule a monetary fine. This can range between $1,000-$2,000. Again, this amount could increase to $2,000-$4,000 if your BAC came back at 0.15% or above or if a minor was in the car when you were apprehended.
- Community service – The court will rule fifty hours of community service. If you cannot attend these hours, then you have the option to pay for them instead, at a price of $10 per hour.
- Car impoundment – The court will impose a ruling that any car registered in your name will be impounded for a minimum of 30 days. Yet, exceptions may be made if the vehicle is registered to a company or is required by another member of your household.
- Hardship reinstatement – You will only be eligible to apply for a hardship license after a year of your driving license being revoked. However, you will only be granted one if you comply with the below:
- Full attendance and completion of DUI school.
- You will have to take part in a DUI supervision program during the remaining time of your revocation. If you miss any of the sessions or do not meet the criteria expected of you, then you risk having the hardship license taken away.
- You will need to provide proof that you have not taken any illegal substances or consumed alcohol while driving a car. This will need to be provided before you are reinstated.
- DUI school – The court will rule and impose that you must attend DUI school at a level 2 grade, which will include an assessment on substance abuse, and you may be asked to have additional follow-up care.
- Compulsory ignition interlock device – For a minimum of 12 months, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This will be imposed by the court and is obligatory. This can increase to 24 months if there was a minor in the car, or your BAC came back at 0.15% or above.
Third DUI Conviction in Sarasota, Florida
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) does not have to agree with the court ruling and can still rule the felony as a third DUI when appointing a suspension or withdrawal of your driver’s license.
If your conviction for a third DUI has happened within ten years of any other DUI convictions, then the FHSMV has the right to impose a ten-year revocation of your driving license. This ruling can also be implemented even if the DUI didn’t happen within Florida.
Initially, the court will have to determine whether the DUI conviction happened within or outside the time frame of ten years from your previous DUI conviction. Once that has been established, then the court can implement its ruling. In order to do so, the court will review your case and evidence for both the most recent and past DUI convictions. This will determine the time frame of the convictions for a fair ruling.
Under Florida law, if a third DUI occurred after 10 years of the prior DUI conviction, then the ruling will then fall under a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense, which means that the ruling and penalties will be like those of a 1st DUI conviction. The difference is that the compulsory installation of the ignition interlock device is for two years and the maximum jail time increases to 12 months.
Penalties Following a Third DUI Within Ten Years
Florida law states that a judge has the right to rule whether a Florida DUI that happened within ten years of a prior Florida DUI can be settled as a felony or a misdemeanor.
You will be charged with a fine of $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years if the case is ruled as a felony, as it will be classified as a third-degree felony.
But, even if the judge rules the conviction as a misdemeanor, the outcomes and penalties will be far more severe than they were previously:
- Jail time – You will be sentenced to prison for at least three days, of which 48 hours will be uninterrupted. This can then be increased to 364 days in prison.
- Fines – The court will order a monetary fine. This can range between $2,000-$5,000. However, this amount can be no less than $4,000 if your BAC came back at 0.15% or above or if a minor was in the car when you were apprehended.
- Vehicle impoundment – The court will impose a ruling that any car registered in your name will be impounded for a minimum of 90 days. An exception may be made if the vehicle is registered to a company or is required by another member of your household.
- Driving license revocation – After a third DUI conviction, the court can rule to revoke your driving license for at least 10 years. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship reinstatement license after two years. However, this may not be granted.
- Hardship reinstatement following a ten-year revocation – If the court rules that your licenses are to be revoked for 10 years following a third DUI conviction, you may wish to apply for a hardship reinstatement, which can only be done after two years have passed. You may be able to avoid the ten year revocation period if your case is reduced to a less severe conviction, such as reckless driving.
To be eligible to apply and be considered, you must adhere to the below:
- You need to have completed the first two years of the revocation period.
- Have full attendance at and completion of DUI school.
- Compulsory ignition interlock device – The court will impose a compulsory requirement for you to have an ignition interlock device fitted in your vehicle for a minimum of 24 months.
- DUI school – The court will rule and impose that you must attend DUI school at a level 2 grade. This will involve you attending all classes, taking a substance abuse assessment, and completing any treatment that has been recommended.
Ten Day Rule for a Formal Hearing in Florida
After you have been charged with a DUI conviction in Florida, you only have ten days to put in a request for a formal hearing to review your case. In order to question the administrative postponement of your driving license after a DUI conviction, you must put in a request within the first 10 days.
Here at The Law Place, we highly suggest that after a third DUI conviction, it is vital to demand such a hearing. You would be foolish if you didn’t. But you will not be eligible to apply for the formal review hearing if you have prior DUI convictions or previous administrative postponements.
In order to apply for a formal review hearing, it is important to have a lawyer by your side. We at The Law Place will help you achieve a 42-day permit so you can drive during your court case. During this time, our highly experienced lawyers will be able to sort out the finer details.
Call The Law Place in Sarasota, Florida
Any criminal offense can have a knock-on effect on your personal life. However, if you have accumulated numerous DUI convictions, then the penalties will increase, and the outcomes will be far worse.
A DUI conviction is viewed as a severe offense in Florida. Not only are you breaking the law, but you could potentially be putting yourself and others at risk, as an accident caused by a DUI could cause serious bodily injury. These charges can also have serious knock-on effects on the rest of your life. You may be feeling overwhelmed by the situation, especially with the laws surrounding DUI convictions being so complex. It is highly advisable that you seek legal guidance to help you through your court case. A lawyer can explain everything in simple terms and give you guidance on how best to proceed going forward.
Our team of lawyers at The Law Place will be able to aid you with your DUI conviction, whether it be a second or third one. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience and are non-judgemental. Why not call us today at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation.