In Florida, a DUI is never a good thing. Working with a Florida DUI attorney can certainly help lessen the punishments against you (or get you off completely) but the entire process can be extremely taxing on you and your family. In some instances, a DUI conviction means jail time. In others, it does not. But all that changes when you receive your second Florida DUI. Whether the judge took it easy on you the first time around or not, the punishments attached to a second DUI conviction make the ones for your first one seem like a walk in the park!
First time Florida driving under the influence penalties include potential jail time, probation, community service, attending a victim impact panel, installation of an ignition interlock device and fines. The nature and extent of the penalties will depend on the circumstances of the DUI as well as your previous criminal record.
When you receive your second DUI, the state has certain penalties that then become mandatory if you are convicted. One of these is jail time. The other major one is license suspension.
- Jail Time: That’s right, a second Florida DUI conviction within a five year period means that you will have to spend a minimum of ten days in county jail. Of course, there is always the chance that the judge in your case will make you stay longer.
- License Suspension: A second DUI conviction in the last five years will also result in a mandatory license suspension. The ten days you will spend in jail will go by much quicker than the five years your driver’s license will be suspended. The real difficulty many individuals struggle with regard to this punishment happens during the first year. Considered “hard time” driving for any reasons whatsoever during the first year is simply not an option.
Those are just two of the major distinctions you will notice between a first time and second time DUI conviction. Of course, the penalties attached to the crime will also go up. The purpose behind many of the first time DUI punishments has as much to do with punishing the driver for his or her actions as it does with working to educate and prevent future drunk driving incidents. The enhanced punishments for a second DUI offense are more aimed at actually punishing the driver this time around. And jail time and life without a driver’s license is certainly a huge punishment.
At Finebloom & Haenel knows how concerned you are following a second (or third) Florida DUI arrest. We have worked with many individuals over the years in the same situation and will work hard to get you the best result possible. In some instances, you may be able to spend the time you would have spent in county jail at an alcohol treatment program. We will always explain to you your options, defenses and potential punishments in plain English. Give us a call today for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.