Second and third-time DUI offenders in Florida can face jail time of up to 5 years. The penalties you could face will depend when the previous DUI cases were, the severity of your offenses, and the action you take to defend yourself. All is not lost just yet, please contact our Florida DUI defense attorneys so we can see what is possible and make a swift defense.
First-time DUI offenders can face up to 6 months in jail, with fines of between $500 and $1,000. Here’s how much jail time you can get for a second or third DUI in Florida:
Jail Time for a Second DUI in Florida
The minimum penalties for a second DUI depend on whether your last DUI conviction was within the past 5 years, whether your blood or breath-alcohol content was above or below .15%, and whether there was a minor in the car when you were driving. If your blood or breach-alcohol level was below 0.15% and there was not a minor in the car you can face:
- Up to 9 months in jail if your first DUI was
- You will also receive a mandatory ignition interlock device on your vehicle, for at least one year depending on the level of the blood alcohol level.
If your BAC was .15% or higher, or there was a minor in the vehicle, you can face:
- Up to 1 year in jail
Jail Time for a Felony Third DUI in Florida
Offenses committed within 10 years of the most recent DUI are felonies, resulting in:
- Between 30 days to five years in jail/prison.
- A 90-day vehicle impoundment
- A ten-year driver’s license revocation.
- Fine of between $2,000 and $5,000.
- You will also receive a mandatory ignition interlock device on your vehicle, for at least two years after you’re eligible for a driver’s license again.
- Vehicle impoundment for 90 days.
If a minor was in the vehicle, or your BAC was .15% or higher, then the fine is $4,558.
All third-time offenders are also required to enroll in monthly-reporting probation and substance abuse courses. You may also be ordered sobriety and drug monitoring by the judge.
If you fail to meet these requirements, you may face further penalties for probation violations.
Note: Any DUI that involves serious bodily injury or death is a felony. Read how to defend a felony DUI here.
Applying for a Hardship Reinstatement
If your third DUI conviction occurred within 10 years of the previous, then you will face a 10-year license revocation.
However, you can apply for a ‘hardship reinstatement’ hearing after two years if you haven’t consumed alcohol or a controlled substance in the year before. To complete this, you will be required to complete DUI school and remain under DUI supervision for the rest of your revocation period. If you fail to report for DUI school, your hardship license will be canceled.
How to Avoid Jail Time for a Second or Third-Time DUI in Florida?
DUIs are taken very seriously in the State of Florida especially if it is not your first offense. We highly recommend that you take swift action to protect yourself and your future.
The best thing you can do is to contact a Florida DUI defense lawyer. They will fight aggressively on your behalf to either clear your name or mitigate the penalties, so you face as little time in jail as possible. We set you up with a strategy to both defend the case and prepare for leniency.
We regularly help people who have been arrested for a second or third DUI avoid lengthy jail sentences.
Common Defenses for DUIs Include:
Police officers can only stop your vehicle if they:
- Had reasonable suspicion that you committed or were committing a traffic infraction.
- They had probable cause that you committed or were committing a crime.
If you were pulled over without any of these justifications, then you could have been stopped unlawfully and may be able to get your case dropped.
Breathalyzer tests that measure your BAC level must be performed per strict regulations. Sometimes the apparatus is damaged or used incorrectly, which can result in the results being thrown out. If that happens, there may be no evidence of a DUI offense.
Field Sobriety Test
Field sobriety tests are also used to determine if someone is under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. However, sometimes these tests are applied unfairly. For example, people with physical impairments or balance issues struggle to walk in a straight line and are unfairly determined as drunk.
The law enforcement officer may also have been unqualified to perform the test. If this is the case, the field sobriety evidence may be thrown out.
In cases where it is clear you did commit a DUI offense, a Florida DUI defense attorney can minimize the impact the mistake has on your life. Factors such as only being slightly over the limit, sleeping in your car to sober up, finding the other driver was complicit, or that you’re taking steps to correct your behavior can have a big impact on winning leniency from the judge.
We may also be able to reduce your charges to a reckless driving offense, which can result in less jail time.
Florida DUI Offense Statistics
- Florida is ranked 46th in the U.S. for drunk driver rates.
- There are 151 DUI-related arrests per 100,000 people.
- Over the past decade, there has been around a 47% decrease in the number of DUI arrests.
- In 2019, over 814 people were killed in alcohol-impaired accidents.
- In DUI accidents involving repeat offenders, 84.1% involved BAC levels of .15 or more.
- Per 100,000 people, 3-4 people die in alcohol-related accidents every year.
DUI Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL
If you want to avoid or minimize jail time after a second or third DUI in Florida, you should contact a DUI defense attorney immediately. You have just ten days from the date of your arrest to challenge the initial suspension of your driver’s license.
Our criminal defense attorneys in Pinellas County at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with over 60 years of experience. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300