If you’ve been pulled over for a second time DUI, you may be entirely aware that the consequences you face can be more severe than your first time around the block. Individuals facing a second charge may be frightened for their future, and unsure of what may happen to them. Will I go to jail? Will I go to prison? Can they bankrupt me for this? Will my car be impounded or taken from me? Will I lose my job?
Contact The Law Place DUI attorneys today to find out your legal options. Our team has a combined experience of over 75 years and are ready to prepare the best defense for your case. We offer a free consultation with an attorney from our firm. We will go over the strengths of your case and outline our fee structure, so there are no surprise costs associated with our defense.
Our lines are open 24/7, and our representatives are always waiting for your call.
Contact The Law Place to schedule your free consultation today.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444.
What Happens When You Get a DUI for the Second Time?
The Legal Information Institute defines DUI as a criminal charge against individuals caught drinking and driving over the State of Florida’s .08 BAC limit.
First and second time DUI criminal charges are both typically classed as misdemeanors. The State of Florida employs what is called a “lookback period” when classifying the consequences of a second DUI.
If your second charge happens more than five years after your first, it may be handled in the same manner. However, if it happens within five years, strict penalties are put in place against you. Mandatory jail time, bigger fines, and more severe restrictions on your license may be enacted.
The lookback period will determine the severity of your consequences. The prosecutor and judge will not look favorably on multiple DUI offenders and often use the maximum penalties to deter others from doing the same.
Consult with a qualified DUI attorney at The Law Place to find out exactly how your case will be processed and to find out your legal options today.
Can a Second-Time DUI Be Charged as a Felony?
Although most second-offense DUI’s are charged as misdemeanors, they can be pursued as a felony if a serious bodily injury occurred. Florida Statutes 627.737 lists serious injury as a physical condition that creates a threat of permanent disfigurement, immobility, or debilitating pain over a long period.
It is much harder to have a DUI dismissed if there was a serious injury as a result of your actions. Misdemeanor charges are easier to get reduced or thrown out altogether than felonies.
Can I Get a 2nd DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving?
Whether a second DUI charge can be reduced to reckless driving is a critical concern for many facing this serious situation in Florida. While the law is stringent, there are scenarios where a reduction is possible, albeit challenging.
Firstly, understanding the nature of DUI and reckless driving charges is essential. DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a charge levied when a person is found operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit. In contrast, reckless driving is generally considered a lesser offense, characterized by a disregard for the safety of persons or property.
The possibility of getting a second DUI reduced to reckless driving hinges on several factors:
- Strength of the Evidence: If the evidence against you is not strong enough to conclusively prove DUI, the prosecution might consider reducing the charge to avoid an uncertain trial outcome. For example, if the legality of the traffic stop or the accuracy of the breathalyzer test is questionable, it might weaken the DUI case.
- Negotiation and Plea Bargaining: An experienced DUI lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution. If they present convincing evidence or arguments that cast doubt on the DUI charge, the prosecution may agree to reduce the charge to reckless driving as part of a plea bargain.
- Prior Record and Circumstances: Your previous driving record and the circumstances surrounding your current charge can influence the decision. If your first DUI was a long time ago and there are mitigating factors in your current case, it might lead to consideration for reduction.
- Legal Representation: The role of a skilled DUI lawyer is crucial in these scenarios. They can assess the details of your case, advise you on the best course of action, and represent you effectively in negotiations with the prosecution.
- State Policies and Prosecutor’s Discretion: Ultimately, the decision also depends on the policies of the state’s attorney’s office and the discretion of the prosecutor handling your case. Each case is unique, and state policies can vary.
It’s important to remember that while getting a DUI reduced to reckless driving is less damaging in the long term, reckless driving is still a serious offense with its own set of penalties and consequences. Additionally, Florida law is particularly strict with DUI offenses, especially repeat offenses, which makes reduction challenging but not impossible.
If you’re facing a second DUI in Florida, it’s advisable to seek immediate legal advice. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can provide a realistic assessment of your case, help navigate Florida’s complex legal system, and advocate for the best possible outcome based on the specifics of your situation.
What Percentage of DUI Cases Get Dismissed?
There is no central database that compiles statistics on dismissed DUI cases, so it is hard to estimate how many are dropped in the entire State of Florida. However, cities do create statistics on this information. For this purpose, we will use Orlando as a case study on how many DUI charges get dismissed.
In the greater Orlando metropolitan area, around 40% of DUI cases are reduced to reckless driving charges or dismissed entirely. Reckless driving is a much less serious offense and cannot be classed as a felony under Florida law. Fines are the biggest consequence of a reckless driving charge- no jail time.
The reasons why these Orlando cases are dismissed vary according to the individual nature of the case and the quality of the defense. Some of these reasons are as follows:
- Leniency – For a first-time offender, sometimes the judge or prosecution will offer a reduction in charges or case dismissal. This may be due to having a BAC only slightly over the legal limit, or a clean criminal record. However, this is unlikely when dealing with a second offense DUI. Judges are much less likely to look favorably on individuals who have already been brought before the court for criminal charges, even if it wasn’t a DUI offense.
- Lack of evidence – If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, and there is no supplementary evidence to prove the case against you, your DUI case may be dismissed. However, there are other penalties associated with refusal to perform field sobriety tests, so don’t think that your denial will win your case automatically.
- Mishandling of your case – A judge may choose to dismiss your case based on the mishandling of evidence or illegal processing on the part of the police or prosecution. The next section will expand upon this and how your attorney can use probable cause as justification to dismiss your DUI case.
How Can You Get a Second DUI Dismissed?
There is still legal recourse if you have been caught driving over the .08 limit. Lawyers can contest the legitimacy of evidence provided in your case, collected during your arrest and subsequent booking and processing.
Your lawyer will examine the following when preparing your defense:
- Traffic stop – The police may have stopped you illegally or without probable cause. If this can be proven, your lawyer can have all the evidence collected after the fact deemed void.
- Field sobriety tests – Tests must be taken according to strict protocols and procedures. If officers did not follow these, your lawyer may have these test results nullified.
- Blood alcohol or urine tests – Measuring BAC is an extremely accurate way of determining an individual’s alcohol consumption. However, police officers must obtain consent to take blood. If you did not give your consent, your lawyer can have any blood test results dismissed.
- Officer observations – Your lawyer can contest the legitimacy of observations made by arresting officers. These records give the court insight into how and why your arrest was made.
Your attorney will pick apart the prosecution’s DUI charges piece by piece. For example, an illegal traffic stop made without probable cause may negate any field sobriety tests you had failed. By law, the resulting charges must be dropped.
Each piece of evidence that gets dismissed may increase the likelihood of having your case dismissed entirely. Consult with an experienced defense attorney at The Law Place to have your drunk driving charges examined thoroughly by a large team.
What Are the Consequences of a Second DUI?
The specific sentencing you will receive in the event of a DUI conviction will depend on the severity of your case and the specific judge at your sentencing hearing. Each judge has autonomy in terms of how to sentence you, but they have to follow maximum penalty statutes as established by Florida law and legal precedent.
According to the State of Florida, the consequences in a DUI case for being convicted a second time are as follows:
- If your second conviction follows your first within five years, you will serve a mandatory 10-day jail sentence.
- If you blow a .08 to .14, you will serve a maximum sentence of nine months imprisonment.
- If tests measure a .15 or above, a maximum sentence of one year is applied.
- If there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of arrest, you will serve a maximum one year sentence no matter your BAC.
- If your DUI resulted in minor injuries or property damage, you would serve a maximum of one year in jail.
- If your DUI resulted in serious injury to yourself or others, you would serve a maximum five-year jail sentence.
- You will be fined $1,000 to $2,000 for a second offense DUI unless your BAC was above .15 or there was a minor in the vehicle, in which case you will be fined $2,000 to $4,000.
- You will lose your license for a maximum of five years if you have a prior DUI conviction within the past five years.
- Your car will be impounded for thirty days if there is a prior DUI conviction within the past five years on your record.
- An Ignition Interlock Device will be installed in your vehicle after you have completed the probationary period of your sentencing, or you have applied for a hardship license beforehand. The Florida Safety Council defines an IID as a mechanism that prohibits the starting of the vehicle unless they blow under a .05. The driver blows into the device, which measures their BAL.
As you can see, the consequences for a second DUI conviction are severe. Jail time is entirely possible and can be for an extended period. If you drink and drive, especially after a first time DUI, you gamble with your freedom, livelihood, and family.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Second Time DUI Lawyer?
A second-time DUI lawyer will usually cost around the same amount as one representing the first offense. This is because both a first and second-time DUI are classed as misdemeanors in most cases.
How much your lawyer will cost will depend on their experience and reputation. The list below gives an estimation of the total costs for representation:
Misdemeanor DUI Lawyer Cost (Estimated)
- A – $1,500 to $2000 – Usually an inexperienced attorney with a marginal reputation.
- AA – $2,500 to $3,500 – An attorney who has started to build their reputation and has some experience in court.
- AAA – $4,000 to $7,500 – The most experienced attorney with the best reputation.
Felony DUI Lawyer Cost (Estimated)
Some second-time DUI’s will result in a felony charge due to a serious injury occurring as a result of the drunk driving incident, high-value property damage, or other criminal acts that increase the seriousness of the DUI charge.
- A – $2,000 to $3,000
- AA – $3,500 to $4,500
- AAA – $5,000 to $10,000
The best legal defense for a DUI will come from an AAA attorney. No attorney can guarantee you dismissal of the charges against you, but a high-quality attorney will have the best chance of doing so.
Contact The Law Place to find out our payment plan through a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.
Understanding the Process of DUI Convictions in Florida
Navigating a second DUI offense in Florida can be daunting, especially considering the state’s stringent DUI laws. A DUI conviction often follows an arrest where a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a driver operated a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. In Florida, DUI offenses are taken seriously, particularly when a prior DUI conviction exists on your record.
The process usually begins with a traffic stop, where officers may conduct field sobriety tests to assess the driver’s sobriety level. If these tests, along with evidence such as the odor of alcoholic beverages or the driver’s behavior, suggest impairment, it can lead to a DUI arrest. For a second DUI conviction, the penalties are typically harsher than for a first-time offense. These can include mandatory jail time, higher fines, longer license suspension periods, and the requirement of an ignition interlock device on the driver’s vehicle.
If you face a DUI charge in Florida, especially a second DUI offense, it’s crucial to consult with a skilled DUI lawyer. A DUI defense attorney can review the details of your case, including examining if the traffic stop was legal (insufficient probable cause can render a stop illegal) and whether the field sobriety tests were properly administered. In cases of insufficient evidence or an illegal traffic stop, a skilled lawyer might successfully argue for the dismissal of the charge.
Options for Mitigating DUI Penalties in Florida
Florida law stipulates specific mandatory penalties for DUI convictions, which can escalate with each subsequent offense. A second DUI conviction in Florida, especially within a short span of years from a prior, can lead to severe repercussions. These include substantial fines, mandatory community service, and potential jail time. The revocation period for a Florida driver’s license also increases with a second DUI offense, along with the installation of an ignition interlock device.
However, options are available that might mitigate these penalties. For example, attending DUI school as part of a rehabilitation program can be a requirement and, in some cases, might help in reducing penalties. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles often requires completion of DUI school and a Special Supervision Services Program for reinstatement of a hardship driver’s license after a DUI conviction.
Negotiating a hardship license is another critical aspect, as it allows limited driving privileges, typically for work purposes, during the license suspension period. This requires proving to the Florida Department that the lack of a driver’s license poses a severe hardship.
In cases involving DUI charges with extenuating circumstances like serious bodily injury to another party, the legal complexity increases. This scenario demands robust legal representation to navigate the intricacies of Florida DUI law effectively. In Hillsborough County and across Florida, a seasoned DUI lawyer can offer a free consultation today to discuss the specifics of a DUI case and provide informed guidance on the best course of actio
Can a Second DUI Be Dismissed in Florida: Comprehensive FAQ
Is it possible for a second DUI to be dismissed in Florida?
Yes, a second DUI can be dismissed in Florida under certain circumstances. Factors like insufficient evidence, illegal traffic stops, or procedural errors during the arrest can lead to dismissal.
What are the typical penalties for a second DUI conviction in Florida?
Penalties for a second DUI conviction in Florida include jail time, fines, mandatory DUI school, license suspension, and possibly the installation of an ignition interlock device.
How does a prior DUI conviction affect a second DUI case?
A prior DUI conviction within five years of a second DUI offense can lead to increased penalties, such as longer jail time, higher fines, and extended license suspension periods.
Can a skilled DUI lawyer make a difference in a second DUI arrest case?
Absolutely. A skilled DUI lawyer can challenge the evidence, question the legality of the traffic stop, and argue against the officer’s conclusion to potentially get the charge dismissed or reduced.
What defenses can be used in a second DUI offense in Florida?
Defenses include challenging the legality of the stop (reasonable suspicion), questioning the accuracy of field sobriety tests, and disputing blood alcohol level results.
What is an ignition interlock device, and when is it required in Florida?
An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer for an individual’s vehicle, requiring the driver to blow into it before the engine starts. In Florida, it’s often required after a second DUI, especially if the first offense DUI occurred within the past five years.
How long could my driver’s license be suspended after a second DUI in Florida?
After a second DUI conviction in Florida, your license can be suspended for a minimum of 5 years. You may be eligible for a hardship license after 1 year, subject to conditions.
Are there any mandatory penalties for a second DUI in Florida?
Yes, there are mandatory penalties for a second DUI in Florida, including a minimum jail time, fines, community service, and participation in a DUI school and treatment program.
How does Florida law treat second DUI offenses involving serious bodily injury?
If the second DUI offense involves serious bodily injury to another person, Florida law imposes harsher penalties, including a possible felony charge and longer jail time.
What role do law enforcement officers play in DUI arrests?
Law enforcement officers are responsible for determining probable cause for a DUI arrest. They conduct field sobriety tests and breath alcohol tests to assess impairment.
Can traffic infractions lead to a DUI charge?
Yes, a minor traffic infraction can lead to a DUI charge if the law enforcement officer suspects the driver committed a DUI offense during the traffic stop.
What should I do if I’m facing a second DUI charge in Florida?
If facing a second DUI charge in Florida, seek a free consultation with a skilled DUI lawyer immediately. An attorney can review your case, including examining if there was insufficient probable cause for the traffic stop or arrest.
Are there any programs or services available for those with multiple DUI convictions in Florida?
Yes, Florida offers programs like the Special Supervision Services Program, which helps individuals with multiple DUI convictions to get their driver’s license reinstated under specific conditions.
What is the difference between a first and second offense DUI in terms of penalties?
A second offense DUI typically results in more severe penalties than a first offense, including longer jail sentences, higher fines, and stricter terms for license reinstatement.
How can I protect my rights after a second DUI arrest in Hillsborough County or other parts of Florida?
Protect your rights by contacting a seasoned DUI attorney who understands Florida DUI laws and the complexities of DUI cases in counties like Hillsborough. A lawyer can provide a robust defense and guide you through the legal process for the best possible outcome.
Consult The Law Place Florida DUI Attorneys Today
Have you been charged with a second time DUI? Are you scared of what may happen to you, to your family, if you are convicted?
Contact The Law Place today to discuss your legal options. Our team has a combined experience of over 75 years and works together on every case. We can guarantee a thorough and efficient approach to your DUI defense. The Law Place offers a free, no-obligation consultation with a qualified attorney to go over the details of your case. Don’t gamble with your life and freedom after your arrest.
Contact The Law Place today to schedule your free consultation.
Our lines are open 24/7, and our representatives are waiting for your call.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444.