How Can a Prior DUI Affect My Current Charge?
If you already have a DUI on your criminal record, there’s a high chance you will face enhanced penalties for another charge. Not only will you likely pay more in fines, but you could also be strapped with additional punishments such as jail time, community service, DUI school, and the long-term suspension of your driver’s license.
Fortunately, even if you believe the prosecution has strong evidence to convict you, the outcome of your case isn’t set in stone. In this article, we take a closer look at the penalties for multiple DUI convictions and how a lawyer may be able to help you fight the charges.
Florida’s DUI Penalties for Serial Offenders
The state takes a hard line against anyone caught drinking and driving, so you won’t escape with just a slap on the wrist even if it’s your first offense. However, each prior conviction for violating Florida’s drunk driving laws can exponentially increase the severity of the penalties you’ll be facing.
If you are convicted for a second time within five years of a previous offense, you could be ordered to spend up to nine months in jail; pay up to $2,000 in fines; complete DUI school; install an ignition interlock device in your car once your driving privileges are restored; perform community service; and you will lose your license for a minimum of five years. If you had a minor in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, your blood alcohol level was .15 or higher, or you caused an accident while driving under the influence, these penalties will likely be increased.
If you are convicted for a third time within 10 years of a previous offense, you will face a series of life-altering penalties. Not only will you have to pay $5,000 in fines, but you also could spend five years or more in prison. Serial offenders will typically have their license suspended for a minimum of 10 years.
It’s no secret that multiple DUI convictions can radically change your life, leaving you with a tarnished criminal record that could prevent you from living a normal life even once you’ve served your sentence. As such, it may be important to do everything you can to fight the charges you’re facing.
A DUI attorney can assess your situation, determine whether the arresting officers made any mistakes, gather and compile evidence that could help you achieve a favorable outcome, and guide you through the challenging days ahead. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to have your penalties reduced or the charges dismissed.
Speak to a DUI Attorney in Stuart, Florida
Were you arrested for driving under the influence? Turn to attorney Todd A. Kawecki to discuss your options. With experience working as a prosecutor, Todd is intimately familiar with Florida’s court system, laws, and statutes. He can review your situation as part of a free initial consultation. Contact us at 772-485-4500 or drop us a message via our Contact Form to request a case review today.