What Happens When You Are Busted For a Second or Third DUI in Florida?
A subsequent DUI offender is even more crucial that they hire an attorney. The sanctions for multiple DUI’s in Florida become astronomically higher. For example; if it’s your second DUI within five years, instead of facing a six-month driver’s license suspension like you did on your first DUI, you rather face a five-year driver’s license suspension. So now it’s jumped from six months to five years as well as the fact that now you face a mandatory ten days in jail.
So you went from no minimum jail as a first time offender to a mandatory ten days in jail. So it’s really important if you have a subsequent DUI to contact a lawyer immediately. And it’s because the sanctions are so high and you definitely don’t want to just go to court and plea without having the benefit of an attorney to speak to and consult with to see what’s in your best interest.
If you have the same legal issues as you do on your first DUI, you can challenge the DUI stop, the detention, the problem that calls for arrest and you can challenge the breath test whether or not you actually refuse the breath test. You have the same legal issues, but now you face more serious penalties so you’re not going to be eligible for let’s say a diversion program in a county where they offer one such as Orange or Osceola county. A prosecutor may not be willing to give you a reduced charge of reckless driving because they see you’ve had a prior DUI. So those are the things you kind of face.
If you go to a trial on a DUI, a jury will not hear about your prior DUI, but the judge will consider it when it comes to sentencing if you’re found guilty. So it’s not like you’ll be judged from your past to determine if you’re guilty now. That’s in our system; we don’t do that in our criminal justice system. We want to judge you usually on the facts of a particular case.
We rarely go back and use your past against you to determine your guilt or innocence. However, it is a factor that is definitely considered if you are found guilty and that’s why it’s so important to hire a lawyer immediately so that they can start investigating your case, see the possible defenses because you’re not going to have all the options you probably had the first time around.
The other thing that someone with a subsequent DUI has is that we have to look at all their prior DUI convictions. The law says we’re not going to use what’s called an uncounselled conviction against you.