It is a basic understanding when it comes to criminal law – if you are caught doing the same thing again, the court is probably going to hand down a harsher punishment if you are convicted. You may believe it is the same situation for drunk driving in Florida – if you are caught driving drunk more than one time, then your penalties are going to accumulate. In many situations this is not always the case; however, in other situations, the look-back period in the state of Florida prevents older DUI convictions from counting against you.
The Look Back Period for DUI in Florida Explained
The rules that apply to the DUI look back period in the state of Florida include:
- The person’s second offense has to occur within a period of five years.
- The third offense has to occur within 10 years.
- The fourth offense may result in an entire lifetime of license suspension.
It is clear that for second and third offenses, there is only a limited period of time when a conviction may be included in a person’s DUI history. However, if there are four convictions, the court can consider them at the same time, regardless of how old they may be.
How the Look Back Period Works
To better understand how this law works in Florida, take the example highlighted here. “Michael,” a driver in Miami, has been arrested and convicted of a third DUI in 2016. He has previous convictions from 2002 and 2013. Even though “Michael” has previous convictions, it is a possibility that they will only be convicted of their second DUI offense.
This is due to the fact that the 2002 conviction occurred over a decade ago, which means the court may ignore it. However, the conviction that occurred in 2013 is still considered recent, which means it is going to impact the sentencing for the new charge.
If you are unsure how more than one DUI charge may affect your life and the consequences that you may face, it is best to use the services of an attorney. An attorney can look at your particular situation to help you understand what may happen.
Hiring an Attorney to Help with DUI Charges
If you are facing your first or fifth DUI charge in the state of Florida, it is essential to ensure you hire qualified legal counsel. An attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that older DUI convictions are not held against you if the law allows them to be excluded. Keep in mind, not all DUI attorneys are created equal, find the right one to help you with your situation.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to DUI charges and consequences, having the help of an attorney can be quite beneficial. Take the time to know your rights and ensure they are protected by hiring the right legal representation. If you need more information about Florida DUI laws and handling several DUI charges, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Thompson by calling 321-253-3771.