If you were just arrested for DUI in Tampa or Hillsborough County, FL, and you have a prior DUI conviction, then you have come to the right place.
This article explains the consequences of a second DUI arrest and what you need to do to protect yourself at every stage of the administrative case with the DHSMV and the criminal case in court.
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The first thing you should do after a second DUI arrest is talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney about the best ways to fight the case. For a second DUI, you need an attorney focused on these complicated types of cases.
Act quickly to retain an attorney to DEMAND a formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Review Office on Hillsborough Avenue during the first 10 days after the arrest.
Attorney for a Second DUI in Tampa, FL
The DUI defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm can help you contest the “on the spot” driver’s license conviction that occurs on an administrative basis right after the arrest.
We can also help you fight to avoid a DUI conviction. Avoiding a second DUI conviction can save you thousands of dollars in fines and fees that might come with a conviction.
Avoiding the conviction also protects you from the indirect consequences of the plea including a dramatic increase in your insurance premiums and driver’s license suspension or revocation.
In many of these cases, the goal is getting the administrative suspension set aside and then getting the charges reduced to reckless driving.
Contact us to speak with a DUI attorney in Tampa at Sammis Law Firm. We provide a free and confidential initial consultation either on the phone or in the office. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Call (813) 250-0500.
What if the Prosecutor Doesn’t Know About the First DUI Conviction?
If a prior DUI conviction occurred out of state, it might not immediately show up on your Florida driver’s license. In those cases, the judge and prosecutor might not even know about the prior conviction.
In these cases, the person might be able to enter a plea to a first DUI. Keep in mind that regardless of whether the judge and prosecutor treat the case as a first DUI, the DHSMV will not treat the DUI as a first conviction if the prior conviction is on your driving record or is later put on your driving record.
If you live out of state, that state will also add the DUI conviction to your driving record which will trigger a suspension in that state.
What are the consequences? At least in Florida, the moment two DUI convictions appear on your driving record, the DHSMV will automatically impose a suspension of five-year revocation of your driver’s license if the second DUI occurred within five years of the prior DUI.
Penalties for a Second DUI Outside of Five (5) Years
Under Florida law, the consequences that attach to a second DUI conviction will depend on whether the conviction is within 5 years or outside of 5 years of the prior conviction showing up on your driving record.
If the DUI arrest occurs outside of 5 years from any prior DUI conviction, then the DUI will be generally treated the same as a first DUI as far as mandatory penalties, except:
- you will not qualify for a hardship driver’s license after the conviction (so any driver’s license suspension imposed by the court which could be a six-month to twelve-month suspension will be served as “hard” time with no driving at all during the suspension);
- the maximum jail time that can be imposed is nine (9) months instead of six (6) months;
- the fines are between $1,000 to $2,000 instead of $500 to $1,000; and
- the ignition interlock device must be installed for one year.
No minimum jail time is required (although the prosecutor may ask for more than the minimum requirement to resolve the case short of trial). The most serious consequence of a second DUI conviction that occurs outside of five years is that the driver is not eligible for a hardship license after a second conviction for DUI.
Penalties for a Second DUI Within Five (5) Years
Unless you avoid a DUI conviction, if your second DUI arrest occurred within five years of a prior DUI conviction, then the following statutory minimum requirements will be imposed:
- Driver License Revocation Period: If you were convicted of a second DUI within five years then the court must impose a minimum 5 years revocation of your driver’s license (with no driving at all during the first 12 months of the suspension and the possibility of a hardship reinstatement after 1 year);
- Incarceration or Jail Time: The court must impose a minimum of 10 days in jail with 48 hours of consecutive jail time (the maximum period of incarceration is nine (9) months unless the breath test reading was .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle, in which case the maximum jail time is twelve (12) months);
- Probationary Term: A maximum of twelve (12) months probation;
- Fines: The court must impose a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,000 (except that if the alcohol reading is .15 or if a minor is in the vehicle then the fine imposed must be between $2,000 to $4,000);
- Community Service: The court is required to impose 50 hours (although the court may allow you to buy out a portion of those hours out at a rate of $10 per hour);
- Vehicle Impoundment: The court is required to impose a penalty that any vehicle registered in your name is impounded for thirty (30) day (except that the court may waive this requirement upon a showing that a family member has no other transportation or if the vehicle is registered as a company vehicle used solely for an employee of the business):
- Hardship Reinstatement: After a driver’s license revocation for five years you are not eligible for a hardship license during the first twelve (12) months, although you may apply for a hardship reinstatement hearing after one year if the following conditions are met:
- You have completed DUI school;
- You remain in a DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (missing treatment or counseling will result in cancellation of hardship driver’s license)
- You can show that you have not consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
- DUI School: The court must impose a requirement that you complete DUI school which typically involves completion of Level Two DUI School including substance abuse evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment;
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device: The court must impose a requirement that you install the ignition interlock device for at least twelve (12) months after serving any period of incarceration or twenty-four (24) months if the alcohol reading is .15 or over.
Frequently Asked Questions about a Second DUI in Florida
How long is the on-the-stop administrative suspension (if you already have a prior administrative suspension for DUI on your driving record)?
The length of the administrative suspension for a second DUI arrest depends entirely on whether you have a first administrative suspension for DUI on your record and whether that suspension was after you had a BAC of .08 or above or whether you refused a chemical test.
After the arrest, the officer will issue the driver a temporary permit valid for 10 days from the date of arrest, provided the driver is otherwise eligible. If you demand a formal review hearing, your criminal defense attorney can help you get a 42-day permit so that you can continue driving for hardship purposes while your attorney fights the administrative suspension.
Keep in mind that you can and should CONTEST the administrative suspension by hiring an attorney to DEMAND a formal review hearing within the first 10 days after your arrest. If you don’t get the administrative suspension invalidated, then the length of the administrative suspension depends on the following factors:
- If you took the chemical test:
If you took the chemical test this time (but also have a prior DUI administrative suspension on your driving record from a prior DUI), then your Florida driver’s license will be suspended for a 12-month suspension with a 30-day hard suspension.
- If you refused the chemical test (but previously had a suspension for having a BAC over .08):
If you refused the test this time and your first DUI suspension was after a chemical test with a BAC of .08 or above, then you will suffer a 12-month suspension with a 90-day hard suspension.
- If you refused the chemical test and had a previous administrative refusal:
If you refused the test, and your first suspension was after a refusal, then you will suffer an 18-month suspension with an 18-month hard suspension.
What is the fine for a second DUI conviction under Florida Statute Section 316.193?
The fine for a second conviction for DUI is not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000, unless the BAL was .15 or higher or if there was a minor passenger in the vehicle. If the BAL was .15 or higher or a minor passenger was in the vehicle, then the second DUI conviction will result in a fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000.
How much jail time can be imposed for a second DUI in Florida?
For a second conviction of DUI, the court can impose imprisonment for not more than nine months. If the BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle for the second DUI, then the court can impose imprisonment for not more than 12 months. If the second DUI conviction was within five years of a prior conviction, then the court must impose mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days (at least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive).
Must the vehicle be impounded or immobilized upon a second DUI conviction in Florida?
Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation, then a second DUI conviction within five years of a prior conviction will result in the defendant being ordered to impound or immobilize the vehicle for 30 days.
Court Ordered Driver’s License Revocation after a Second DUI Conviction
In addition to the administrative suspension, another suspension can be imposed by the court after you are convicted of the second DUI. For a second DUI conviction outside of 5 years, the court must impose a driver’s license suspension of at least 6 months and up to one year. During that time, you will not be eligible for a hardship license.
For a second DUI conviction within five years from a prior conviction, the court must impose a minimum five years revocation and you will not be eligible for hardship reinstatement until after you have served the first 12 months of the suspension without driving and then you might be eligible to apply for a hardship license.
Consequences for a CDL Holder after a Second DUI-Related Offense
A second or subsequent conviction for any of the following offenses arising out of separate incidents will result in a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) including:
- any conviction for driving a CMV with a blood-alcohol level of .04 or above;
- driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or refusing to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration while driving a CMV;
- driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance; or
- driving a CMV while in possession of a controlled substance.
If you have a CDL and were arrested for a second DUI, then contact an experienced attorney immediately to discuss the best ways to protect your rights and contest the case.
If your commercial driver’s license is at stake for a major offense, then let us put our experience to work for you.
Finding a Lawyer for the 2nd DUI in Hillsborough County
If you are facing a second DUI in Florida, contact an experienced DUI lawyer to discuss your case.
Talk with us about the goals in your case including getting the charge reduced to reckless driving to avoid a driver’s license suspension and other more serious DUI penalties under Florida law.
We represent clients after a breath test, blood test, urine test, or a refusal to submit to testing. Contact Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, for a free consultation in the office or over the phone.
Call (813) 250-0500 to begin your defense today.
This article was last updated on Friday, April 29, 2022.