Second-Offense DUI in Florida

Facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge? If it’s not your first, the administrative and criminal consequences and penalties will differ from your first experience. Repeat offenders face stricter penalties than those who only get arrested for DUI once. Consequences can include everything from fines and license suspension to vehicle impoundment or installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. When you are charged with DUI for a second time, you should consult a DUI attorney in Tampa for help getting your charges reduced or dropped.

Is Jail Time Mandatory for Repeat Offenders?

If you are convicted of a second DUI within five years of your first DUI, you will face mandatory jail time. These penalties escalate with your blood alcohol concentration ((BAC) — .15% or more and you will face enhanced consequences. The same is true for DUI-related accidents involving property damage, personal injury, or a passenger under the age of 18.

The “Look-Back” Period

The amount of time that a prior DUI conviction affects future consequences for a DUI is referred to as the “look-back” period. This is used to determine the ceiling for fines and jail sentences. If your second offense falls outside of the “look-back” period, the consequences for your mishap will be less severe. However, if your second offense falls within this period, it will be treated as a third offense, resulting in steeper penalties. In Florida, the “look-back” period is five years.

Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalties differ from criminal penalties, but they can be equally frustrating. Mainly, you can expect to have your license suspended following a DUI conviction. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is in charge of license suspensions. If your BAC exceeds .08% and you’re a repeat offender, you can count on a one-year suspension at minimum. Under Florida’s “implied consent” laws, you will forfeit your license for one year if you refuse to take a breathalyzer (even if you’re never been convicted of DUI before). In some cases, a DUI defense lawyer in Tampa can help you get a “restricted” or “hardship” license allowing you to drive to and from work, school, church, and medical appointments.

Criminal Penalties

As we mentioned above, if you are convicted of a second DUI within a five-year period, you will go to jail. Although the minimum sentence is a mere ten days, the maximum will depend on your specific situation. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Standard second DUI: 9 months
  • Second DUI (BAC of .015% or more): 1 year
  • Second DUI (with child passenger): 1 year
  • Second DUI (with property damage, minor injury, etc.): 1 year
  • Second DUI (with serious bodily injury): 5 years

Repeat offenders typically face fines, too. A standard second-offense DUI will cost you an average of $1,000 to $2,000. These fines increase to between $2,000 and $4,000 for situations involving high BAC, child passengers, or property damage. If a person suffered serious bodily injury as a result of your DUI, you could be fined up to $5,000. Other criminal penalties include license revocation, ignition interlock device installation, and vehicle impoundment. Consult a DUI attorney in Tampa for more information on the consequences you face for a second-offense DUI.

For a free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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