Felony or Misdemeanor?
A second DUI offense is a misdemeanor offense in Florida. A misdemeanor offense is punishable with a jail term that can extend to 12 months. However if you cause an accident that results in property damage or bodily injury to others, a second offense DUI can be tried as a felony offense.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida you have 10 days to request an administrative hearing against the suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to do so your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. The period of driver’s license suspension can range from 6 months to 18 months depending on the circumstances of your arrest. This driver’s suspension is an administrative penalty and is not dependent on the outcome of the DUI case against you.
Look Back Period
Florida does not have a typical lookback period. All DUIs remain on your record and can be used for charging purposes.However, if a second DUI conviction occurs within 5 years, the offender will be sentenced to mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days and at least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
- In Florida a second offense DUI that occurs outside the 5 year look back period is punishable with a fine between $500 and $1000.
- If there is a minor in the vehicle or your blood alcohol concentration is 0.2 or higher, the fine will range between $1000 and $2000.
- A second DUI conviction outside the 5 year look back period will result in a jail term that can extend to 9 months. This jail term can increase to 12 months if there is a minor in the vehicle or your blood alcohol concentration is 0.2 or higher.
- For a second DUI conviction within the 5 year look back period, the sentence can extend to one year. There is a 10 day mandatory imprisonment for a second DUI offence within the look back period. At least 48 hours out of the 10 day imprisonment must be consecutive.
Like in all states if you are charged with a second offense DUI in Florida, you can plead guilty or not guilty. You can seek a plea bargain but the chances of the prosecution accepting a plea bargain for a second offense DUI are very low.
Get Legal Advice
If you have been charged with a second offense DUI in Florida, consider consulting with an experienced Florida DUI attorney. An attorney can best advise you as to your options and can help you minimize the consequences.