||Penalties for a Third DUI in Florida|
Third DUI Tampa Attorney
The consequences for a third DUI under Florida law are serious. Call our DUI attorneys in Tampa to discuss the particular facts of your case and how prior convictions may impact the case. Many people are shocked to learn about the consequences of a third DUI particularly when the prior offenses occurred long ago or in another state.
Not all DUI arrests result in a conviction. Avoiding that conviction may save you thousands of dollars over the next three to five years from both the direct consequences of the plea and the indirect consequences of the plea including a dramatic increase in your insurance premiums and possible TEN year driver's license suspension or revocation.
Most DUI attorneys in Tampa, FL, provide a free consultation to discuss the particular facts of your case. Take advantage of that opportunity. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with us then call us to discuss your case. Find out more about the possible maximum and minimum penalties. For any third DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL (or the surrounding counties of Pinellas, Polk, Pasco. Hernando or Manatee County) call 813-250-0500.
21 Day Rule - Will the Prosecutor File the DUI as a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
If you enter a plea to a charge of DUI in Florida and you have two prior DUI convictions on your driving record, then your case could be prosecuted as either a felony DUI or a misdemeanor DUI. After the arrest in Hillsborough County, FL, the State Attorney's Office in Tampa will review the police reports and your prior record to determine whether the case should be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony.
In most cases, the prosecutor will make this filing decision within the first 21 days after the arrest. Therefore, in these cases it is particularly important to hire an attorney as quickly as possible after the arrest. If you were not represented by an attorney for one of the prior DUI offense, then the prosecutor may have a difficult time using that prior uncounseled plea for purposes of charging you with the felony DUI offense.
10 Day Rule - Contesting the Automatic Administrative Suspension
Besides the 21 day filing decisions, you also have a 10 day deadline when it comes to requesting a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license. No matter what your circumstances, there is never a good reason not to request the formal review hearing.
10 Year Driver's License Revocation
Additionally, it is important to consider the fact that regardless of how the court sentences you, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) may consider the offense a third DUI when imposing certain consequences, including a ten (10) year revocation of your driver's license for a third DUI that occurs within ten years of any prior DUI (even if one of the DUIs occurred out of state and is not known to the court or prosecutor at the time of sentencing).
Third DUI in Florida Outside of 10 Years any Prior DUI Conviction
The first determination is whether your newest DUI case will be considered a third DUI within 10 years or outside of 10 years. The 10 day determination is made by looking at your most recent DUI conviction and determining whether it occurred within 10 years of your newest DUI arrest.
Under Florida law, if the third DUI occurs outside 10 years of any prior DUI, then you will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor offense with the following mandatory minimum requirements must be imposed by the court unless you avoid the conviction:
- Jail Time or Incarceration: The court must impose jail time of not more than 12 months with at least 30 days of jail time (at least 48 hours of the incarcertaion must be consecutive);
- Probation: Up to 12 months probation;
- Fine: The court must impose a fine between $2,000 and $5,000 (wiith blood / breath alcohol reading of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle then the fine will not be less than $4,000);
- Impoundment of Vehicle: The court must order that any vehicle registered to the defendant is impounded for 90 days after any incarceration is served (however an exception can be made if the order would present a hardship to a family member who drives the vehicle or if the vehicle is a company vehicle driven by an employee other than the defendant for work purposes);
- Driver License Revocation Periods: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year;
- DUI School: The court must order DUI school, which would normally require the driver to complete a Level II class which includes substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow up treatment; and
Third DUI in Florida Within 10 Years of Any Prior DUI Conviction
If the third DUI occurs within 10 years of any prior DUI, then under Florida law you may be charged with a felony DUI which requires the court to impose the following minimum mandatory penalties unless you avoid a conviction:
- Jail Time or Incarceration: Mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days with at least 48 hours being served consecutively;
- Fine: The court can impose a fine of up to $5,000 (unless the blood / breath alcohol reading was above a .20 or a minor was in the vehicle in which case the fine can not be lower than $2,000 and can not exceed $5,000);
- Vehicle Impoundment: The court must order the vehicle be impounded for ninety (90) days;
- Driver's License Revocation: If both of the prior DUI convictions occurred within a 10 year period then at least a 10 year revocation (the driver may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after 2 years if the driver has not consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement, DUI school completed and the driver remains in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period), and for a third DUI conviction in which at least one of the prior DUI convictions occurred within 5 years then at least a five year revocation (driver may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after 12 months);
- Mandatory ignition interlock device: for at least twenty four months;
- DUI School: The court will require the driver complete DUI school as a condition of probation which includes both classroom instruction, a substance abuse evaluation and completion of any recommended follow up treatment.
If you are facing a third DUI in Florida, contact an experienced DUI Lawyer in Tampa, FL to discuss your case. Call the Sammis Law Firm for a free consultation in the office or over the phone. Call 813-250-0500 today.