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.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
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.
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 of professionals.
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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.
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.