If you have been charged with a second DUI in Florida, it’s important to get in touch with a Melbourne DUI defense lawyer right away.
There is a big difference between a first and second drunk driving charge in Florida.
It’s imperative to handle your case and your defense correctly, as the consequences of a second DUI conviction can stay with you for a very long time.
Generally, the penalties for a second DUI conviction vary widely depending on how much time has passed between your first drunk driving conviction and your second DUI charge.
If Your Second DUI Is Within Five Years of Your First
If it has been five years or less since your first DUI, the law imposes mandatory minimum penalties in your case. Under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, you face the following penalties upon conviction:
- Incarceration. You could spend up to nine months in jail. At a minimum, you must spend at least 10 days in jail, and at least two of those days must be served consecutively. If your BAC was .15 percent or higher, the judge can sentence you to one year in jail.
- Probation. You can be ordered to serve a maximum of 12 months’ probation.
- Community Service. You may have to serve up to 50 hours of community service.
- Fines. The court can order fines up to $2,000. For convictions involving a BAC of .15 percent or higher, or cases in which an underage passenger was in the car during the stop, the fines can go up to $4,000.
- Loss of Vehicle. The court can place your car in impound for up to 30 days, unless you can show your vehicle is your family’s sole source of transportation, or your car is used as part of a business you own.
- Loss of License. Upon a second DUI conviction, the court can take your license for up to five years. In some cases, you may be able to qualify for a hardship reinstatement, but you will still lose your license for one year.
- Ignition Interlock Device. You must install an ignition interlock device for at least one year. If your BAC was .15 percent or higher, you must use an ignition interlock device for two years.
- DUI School. You must complete a DUI education course, and the court may require you to undergo alcohol rehabilitation treatment.
If Your Second DUI Was More Than Five Years After Your First
If at least five years have passed between your first DUI conviction and your second DUI charge, the consequences are less severe, however, they are still serious.
The court can sentence you to up to nine months in jail, and you could be charged a fine up to $2,000. You must also install an ignition interlock device for one year, and you will lose your license for anywhere between 180 days and one year, with no options for early reinstatement.
Don’t Wait! Get Help from a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer
Whether you have been wrongfully charged with DUI, or you simply made a mistake and drove under the influence of alcohol, you have legal rights. Protect them by working with a Florida DUI defense lawyer.
Don’t wait to speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your case. There is too much at stake to attempt to handle your case on your own.
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