2nd Offense DUI Law in Florida

Under § 316.193, Fla. Stat, a second DUI is defined as operating or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, and the defendant has a prior conviction for DUI.

However, your second DUI in Florida is not merely a repeat of your first DUI. The law responds with increased penalties, and prosecutors are less inclined to negotiate favorable pleas.

Florida’s “Look-Back” Period

Florida’s “look-back” period helps determine the gravity of possible DUI penalties. This period is a timeframe within which prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing in subsequent DUI cases.

For a second DUI, Florida’s look-back period is five years. So, if you are charged with a second DUI within five years of your first, the penalties are drastically more severe.

Second Offense DUI Penalties

When facing a second DUI occurring within five years of a previous DUI conviction, the law imposes certain mandatory minimum penalties. These include:

  • A minimum of 10 days in jail, with at least 48 hours of consecutive confinement.
  • Fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
  • A license suspension for a minimum of five years, with eligibility for a hardship license contingent on completing a DUI education course and other requirements.

If a second DUI occurs outside the five years but within ten years, penalties, while still severe, may offer more discretion in sentencing.

You should consult a lawyer experienced in second-offense DUIs to understand what to expect.

Other Consequences of a 2nd DUI

In addition to the legal penalties, the ripple effect of a second DUI conviction can touch every facet of your life:

  • Expect higher auto insurance premiums or denied coverage.
  • You may lose financial aid for college.
  • Limited career prospects as employers shy away from individuals with multiple DUIs.
  • Professional licenses, crucial for specific careers, may be revoked or suspended.
  • Immigration might be jeopardized, with non-citizens facing possible deportation.
  • Your child custody or visitation rights may be called into question.

Is a 2nd DUI a Felony in FL?

In Florida, a second DUI is still typically a misdemeanor. If it involves aggravating factors such as serious bodily injury, death, or a previous felony DUI conviction, it can be elevated to a felony.

Serious bodily injury leads to a third-degree felony. DUI manslaughter is charged as a second-degree felony.

If the driver fails to provide information or help, it becomes a first-degree felony. Subsequent DUIs following a felony conviction may also be charged as felonies.

Can a Second DUI Be Expunged in FL?

Whether it is your first DUI or second, in Florida, expungement is not an option for DUI convictions.

Moreover, penalties increase for multiple DUI convictions. For example, a third DUI is punishable by 12 months in jail, $2,000-$5,000 in fines, and a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for two years.

Your License after a 2nd DUI in FL

A second DUI in Florida can result in a mandatory license suspension. However, after certain conditions are met, you may apply for a hardship license. This license allows limited driving privileges, such as commuting to work or school.

Obtaining this restricted license involves a formal review process and demonstrating specific criteria, including no other driving offenses during the revocation period.

How an Attorney Helps after a 2nd DUI

With the permanence of DUIs on your record and the severity of the second offense DUI penalties, the necessity of a skilled defense lawyer cannot be overstated.

Mitkevicius Law, PLLC, knows how to defend against repeat DUIs. We will scrutinize the prosecution’s case from the ground up, beginning with the traffic stop. From there, we will craft a compelling strategy that gives you the best chance at a reduction, dismissal, or reducing the negative impact of a second DUI.

Challenging Second DUI Charges

Our approach for a second DUI is assertively proactive. Probable cause is a must for any traffic stop and subsequent DUI arrest. Without it, the evidence against you may be rendered inadmissible.

We may also question the reliability of breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, which are notoriously inaccurate.

Defenses for Second DUI Offenses

A second DUI necessitates a strong defense. Our firm leaves no stone unturned. We understand that swift action is critical.

We emphasize securing legal representation quickly to ensure that every possible defense is meticulously explored.

Defenses in second DUI cases include

  • Probable Cause: We assess whether law enforcement had a valid reason to initiate the stop, challenging the arrest if probable cause was lacking.
  • Field Sobriety and Breathalyzer Accuracy: We can challenge errors by questioning the administration and precision of sobriety tests and breathalyzers.
  • Rising BAC: If your BAC was legally under the limit while driving but rose by the time of testing, we’ll argue the “rising blood alcohol” defense.
  • Medical Conditions: We’ll consider any medical conditions that could falsely indicate impairment.
  • Procedure & Protocol Mistakes: We’ll review all police procedures for violations that could impact the evidence.

Secure a Hardship License

The mandatory license suspension for a second DUI can disrupt your life, but our second DUI lawyers aid clients in applying for a hardship license.

This process usually begins with attending DUI school and a structured application process. We’ll guide you through each step, aiming to restore your driving privileges and return you to your essential daily activities.

Don’t Blindly Accept a 2nd DUI Conviction – Call Today

A second DUI threatens your record, freedom, and future. While prosecutors and officers may suggest nothing can help your case, second DUI charges in Florida are not open and shut. An experienced second-offense DUI attorney from Mitkevicius Law, PLLC, offers you the chance to defend yourself and seek the best possible outcome.

Contact our office today at 850-468-3560 to schedule your free consultation. Lead attorney Josef Mitkevicius has 10+ years of experience and won’t force you to settle for an unfair deal.