Judges and juries may be more willing to accept a person’s claim that a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest was an isolated occurrence unrepresentative of the normal care that individual takes in a motor vehicle when the alleged offender has not been previously convicted of drunk driving. When a person arrested for DUI in Florida does have a prior conviction on his or her record, a judge or juror is less likely to be sympathetic.
Prosecutors in Florida take any repeat drunk driving offense seriously and often pursue very serious penalties for the people accused of these crimes. The possible severity of the consequences of a second DUI conviction depend on whether the alleged offender’s previous arrest occurred in within the prior five years.Attorney for Second DUI Arrests in Broward County, FL
If you were arrested in South Florida for your second DUI offense, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Hoffman Firm defends clients charged with drunk driving crimes in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and several other surrounding areas in Broward County.
As a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman understands the types of weaknesses in a prosecutor’s case that can make it difficult to obtain a conviction. Call (954) 524-4474 to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Second DUI Crimes in Fort Lauderdale
- How can people be charged with drunk driving?
- What happens if an alleged offender’s prior conviction was within the prior five years?
- Where can I find more information about second DUI in Broward County?
Florida Second DUI Charges
A person can generally be charged with DUI under Florida Statute § 316.193 in one of two ways. When an alleged offender has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, it is often referred to as a “per se” (Latin for "by itself" or "in itself") DUI because Florida Statute § 316.1934(2)(c) establishes that such evidence “is prima facie evidence that the person was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired.”
An alleged offender can also be charged with DUI if a police officer determines that the person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance, and was affected to the extent that the alleged offender’s normal faculties are impaired or to the extent that the person is deprived of full possession of normal faculties, to drive or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle. Under Florida Statute § 316.1934(1), normal faculties include, but are not limited to, the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, normally perform the many mental and physical acts of daily life.
Second DUI Penalties in Broward County
When a person is arrested for a second DUI in Florida, it will typically be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. Florida has a “look back period” of five years for second DUI offenses, which means people who have been arrested for this crime twice within that span of time can face enhanced penalties. Convictions for alcohol-related driving violations in other states can be counted as prior convictions in Florida.
Under Florida Statute § 316.193(2)(a), a second DUI conviction is punishable by up to nine months in jail and/or a minimum fine of $1,000 up to $2,000. When an alleged offender has been previously convicted of DUI within the prior five years, a conviction is punishable by a minimum of 10 days in jail.
If a person arrested for DUI had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, a second DUI conviction is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of at least $2,000 up to $4,000. Second offenses committed within five years of prior DUI convictions are also punishable by a minimum of 10 days in jail if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of DUI within the prior five years.
An alleged offender arrested for his or her second DUI offense can have his or her driver’s license suspended for 180 days to one year. If a person’s prior DUI conviction was within the last five years, a license may be suspended for a minimum of five years with no restricted driving privileges being available for the first 12 months. Individuals have only 10 days to request a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of their driver's license.
A court will also order the placement, at the alleged offender’s sole expense, of an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least one year upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the alleged offender. If the alleged offender had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, the IID period is two years.
The court must also, as a condition of probation, order the impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the alleged offender at the time of impoundment or immobilization, for a period of 30 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that expires within 30 days. A person could also face additional penalties that may include community service, probation, and DUI School attendance.
Florida Second DUI Resources
Florida DUI Laws | Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) — Visit this section of the DHSMV website to learn more about the different kinds of penalties for drunk driving offenses in Florida. Many sections contain different penalties for second or subsequent convictions. You can find information about business purposes only/employment purposes only reinstatements, DUI school requirement, and administrative disqualification law.
Risk of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Recidivism Among First Offenders and Multiple Offenders — View the full text of a study published in the American Journal of Public Health in May 2010. The authors analyzed more than 100 million driver records from 1973 to 2004 to determine the statewide impact of having prior alcohol-impaired driving violations of any type on the rate of first occurrence or recidivism among drivers with no, one, two, or three or more prior violations in Maryland. The study concluded that the “recidivism rate among first offenders more closely resembles that of second offenders than of nonoffenders” and any alcohol-impaired driving violation—not only convictions—can be “a marker for future recidivism.”
Were you arrested for your second DUI offense anywhere in Broward County? It is critical for you to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Contact The Hoffman Firm today.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who represents individuals in communities throughout South Florida, including Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Margate, Plantation, and many others. You can have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (954) 524-4474 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.