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Four Types of Punishments You Can Expect from a Second-Offense DUI in Florida

In one of our previous blog posts, we covered 5 Things to Know for Your First DUI, which gave you an idea of what to expect if you are going through the process of being accused of a DUI for the first time. In this article, we will go over four types of punishments you should expect if you are convicted of a second DUI offense.

In Florida, a second-offense DUI is considered a misdemeanor, unless the driver is involved in an accident where a person suffers "serious bodily injury," in which case the charge is upgraded to a third-degree felony. There are also changes in punishments depending on if the second-offense DUI happened within five years of the first DUI conviction. Here are some punishments you should expect if you are convicted of a second DUI.

1. License Revocation

If you have not been convicted of a DUI within the past five years, there is a mandatory 180 days to one-year suspension of your driver's license. You cannot reinstate the license early for a hardship; full revocation must be served before your license can be reinstated.

If you have been convicted of a DUI within the last five years, then the penalty jumps to at least a five-year suspension of your license with the option to apply for a hardship license after one year of revocation. However, in order to apply for the hardship, you must have proof of completion of DUI school and any treatment that was required. You must also have a favorable recommendation from the Special Supervisions Services Program. There are also many fees associated with reinstatement, which will be discussed in more detail in administrative penalties.

2. Criminal Penalties/Jail Time

For second-offense DUIs that happen within five years of the first, there is a 10-day minimum jail time punishment. Maximum jail sentences depend on the circumstances of the case. The website, dui.drivinglaws.org breaks down the maximum sentencing structure for second-offense DUIs as this:

  • Nine months for a standard second DUI
  • One year for a second DUI with a BAC of .15% or more
  • One year for a second DUI with a passenger under 18 years old
  • One year for all DUIs (including a second) if there was an accident involving property damage or minor injuries, and
  • Five years for all DUIs where there was an accident involving "serious bodily injury."

3. Administrative Penalties/Fines

The fine for a second-offense DUI is not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,000. If your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is greater than .15, or there is a minor in the car, the fine jumps to between $2,000-$4,000.

In addition to the basic fines, there are several fees that will be charged when you reinstate your license, including administrative fees, revocation reinstatement fees, and a license fee. These fees can amount to several hundred dollars. You are also responsible for the cost of any DUI school or treatment that is required by the courts in order to reinstate your license.

4. Ignition Interlock Requirements/Vehicle Impoundment

For all second-offense DUIs, Ignition Interlock devices (IID) are required in your vehicle for at least one year. If your BAL was greater than .15, or there was a minor in the car, you will be required to have the IID for at least two years.

In addition, if you are convicted of a second DUI within five years, your vehicle will be impounded for at least 30 days, which cannot coincide with any required jail time.

If you are facing the possibly of a DUI charge in Florida, whether your first or second, it is important to remember that with adequate representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney, charges may be lessened or waived (depending upon severity). Also, seek assistance if you have been wrongfully apprehended or apprehended due to unlawfully obtained evidence (such as a blood test without a warrant). However, the best avoidance for DUI prosecution is not to drink and drive.

References:

McCurley, U. B. (n.d.). Second Offense DUI in Florida. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/florida-second-offense-dui.htm#

Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/dlfaqson2a.html#dui

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