If you’ve been charged with multiple DUIs in Pinellas County, such as second, third or fourth-time offenses then you could face severe penalties. These penalties are life-changing, but all hope is not lost just yet.
We urge you to contact our Pinellas County DUI defense lawyers for swift action, whether it’s clearing your name, reducing your penalties or saving your license.
What Are Multiple DUI Charges?
- If you’re arrested for a DUI for the first time in ten years (since your last DUI conviction), then it is considered a first-time offense.
- However, a second DUI within 5 years of the previous one is considered a follow-up DUI offense.
- A third or fourth DUI within ten years of the previous one is considered a follow-up DUI offense.
- The most recent charge connects to the previous ones, making for more severe penalties. This law is in place to prevent drunk driving in Florida.
- However, a felony DUI charge is not affected by the ten-year rule. It is always relevant in a DUI charge.
- DUI convictions from another state are also counted.
The Consequences of Multiple DUIs in Pinellas County
We’ve included the consequences of a first-time DUI conviction so that you can see the increase in penalties:
- Maximum of 6 to 9 months in jail
- Between $983-$2,000 in fines
- License suspension of up to 1 year
- A mandatory interlock ignition device for BAC above .15
- An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle that will prevent the car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.
- Immediate license suspension.
Second DUI Offenses:
If a second conviction occurs within 5 years of the first:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- $5,000 in fines
- License suspension for up to 10 years.
- Immediate license suspension for 5 years.
Third-Time DUI Offense:
If a person has a third DUI within 10 years of a previous DUI conviction:
- Felony of the third degree
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
- Immediate license suspension for 10 years.
Fourth DUI Conviction
Fourth DUI convictions within 10 years result in serious punishments. They are also often treated as third-degree felonies. Conviction of a felony DUI will see all future DUI convictions treated as felonies too.
What Can You Do If You Are Arrested for Multiple DUIs in Pinellas County?
Fight For Your Defense with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Just because you have a DUI criminal history, doesn’t mean all hope is lost just yet.
There are many options our Pinellas County DUI attorneys try to seek as possible routes of defense, such as:
- Unlawful or Illegal stops
- Unreliable breathalyzer results
- Questionable breath test refusal
- Incorrect field sobriety tests
- You fell asleep in your parked vehicle while protecting yourself.
- Your Miranda rights were not read to you.
We urge you to contact us as soon as possible.
Read related: How to Beat a DUI Arrest in Pinellas County
Do Not Plead Guilty
Do not admit guilt or even hint at fault to the police officers handling you. This will forfeit your right to challenge your DUI charge.
We advise you to avoid commenting until you speak to a criminal defense attorney.
Take Action for Your An Addiction
One way to minimize your penalties is to win leniency with the judge. One of the best ways to do this is to take action for addiction. If you have drinking or drug problems, there are programs that can help you.
We often see judges act more lightly on defendants who have taken responsibility for their behavior before the court needs to. It can show you understand the severity of your mistake and that you’re trying to correct it rather than be a nuisance to society. Our Pinellas County DUI attorneys can direct you in the right direction to take these steps.
For example, we recently had a client charged with a 2nd time DUI offense after blowing an alcohol test of 0.15%. After hiring us, we advised her to complete DUI school and the MADD Victim Impact Panel early which turned out to be crucial for her case.
We were able to help her avoid jail time and the use of a Continuous Alcohol Monitor (which saved her a further $900). It was her completion of DUI school as the MADD program that swayed the judge.
Save Your License Before Conviction
You haven’t been convicted yet. But your driver’s license will have been suspended immediately if you’ve been arrested.
You have the chance to challenge this suspension and obtain a temporary ‘hardship license’ for 42 days. This will allow you to drive for employment or business (such as church and grocery shopping) purposes only.
To challenge the license suspension, you’ll need to make a request via a civil administrative hearing with your criminal defense lawyer.
You have only 10 days from the date of your arrest to make the challenge (including holidays and weekends).
You may also be able to appeal the suspension via a ‘petition for writ of certiorari’ to the Pinellas County circuit court if the first option fails.
Post-Conviction Hardship License
You may also be able to acquire a hardship license after your DUI conviction, for employment and essential purposes only. However, the DHSMV requires that a person must wait:
- One year after a Second-time DUI conviction, before applying.
- Two years after a third-time DUI conviction, before applying.
- 10 years after a fourth-time DUI conviction, before applying (or from the end date of incarceration, depending on which is later).
The DHSMV will also require that the applicant fulfills the following steps:
- Complete multiple offender DUI school.
- Not driven during the period after the driver’s license revocation.
- Remained drug and alcohol-free during that time.
- Complete any other terms or conditions stated by the safety council, such as alcohol evaluations or treatment.
- Install an Ignition Interlock Device for a stated period (such as one, two or five years).
What is a DUI Supervision Services Program?
If the DHSMV grants you a hardship license, you will also be required to be supervised through a DUI program. These are typically administered by the local Pinellas County safety council, via the ‘DUI Special Supervision Services’. The program will likely require the individual:
- Reports to the program at least three times per year (though it may be monthly).
- Alcohol abuse evaluation, treatment or counseling.
- Random alcohol and drug tests.
DUI Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL
If you want to beat a second, third or fourth DUI in Pinellas County, please contact our DUI defense lawyers. We can deploy a fast and aggressive defense strategy to reduce or drop your charges while appealing your license suspension or obtaining a hardship license.
Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms. 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