Being charged with a DUI has a significant impact on your life. Not only will you have to attend Court to defend the charges, seek an administrative review of the suspension of your driving privileges, and figure out a defense strategy; but you will also have to pay fines and other costs. The range of punishment depends on whether this is your first offense, or if you have had a prior DUI case filed against you. For every subsequent DUI you receive the possible punishment changes.
DUI in Florida is defined as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more. If you are charged with a DUI you can expect to lose your license, which will require you to seek an administrative review of that decision within ten days of arrest, you may have to attend DUI school, it is possible that the prosecution will require you to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle, and there will be fines to pay. These things vary with each subsequent offense, and if you have had more than one DUI you can expect these three things for your subsequent DUI cases:
- A second time offense is still a misdemeanor, and carries a fine of between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00. You can also be sentenced to up to 9 months in jail and lose your right to drive for six months to a year.
- A third DUI is considered a felony and the fine goes up to between $2,000.00 and $5,000.00. The jail term that is associated with a third DUI case is from between 30 days to one year and you can potentially lose your license for up to 10 years!
- For fourth time DUI offenses, the fine is at least $2,000.00 but is likely to be much higher. Jail time for 4th DUI’s is up to 5 years and your driver’s license will be permanently taken away from you.
These harsh punishments make defending subsequent DUI cases a must. Because you will no longer be considered a first time offender, the Court and prosecution are less likely to be lenient, so you have to develop a defense that works. Some of the more common tactics include attacking the initial stop and/or the validity of the field sobriety test. If you are successful, you can avoid being classified as a repeat offender, which will help lessen the blow and help to keep the punishment at a minimum. Call a skilled DUI attorney today for a review of your case, and to learn your options. We can help.
If you have questions about subsequent DUI cases, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. Call us to schedule an appointment.