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Second DUI Lawyer in Tampa, FL

If you have been arrested for DUI, and the arrest was within 5 years of a prior DUI conviction date, then you have come to the right place. The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, are focused on fighting these cases throughout Hillsborough County.

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The penalties for a second DUI are harsh, particularly if your DUI arrest occurred within 5 years of a prior conviction. The most devastating aspect of this charge is the mandatory 5 year revocation of your Florida driver's license. Contact a Tampa DUI Attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss ways to fight the charge.

Second DUI Outside of Five (5) Years

If the DUI arrest is outside of five years from the prior DUI conviction, then the DUI will be generally treated the same as a first DUI as far as mandatory penalties required by Florida statutes except that the maximum jail time that can be imposed is nine (9) months, fines are between $1,000 to $2,000, and the ignition interlock device must be installed for one year. No minimum jail time is required (although the prosecutor may ask for more than the minimum requirement to resolve the case short of trial).

The most serious consequence of a second DUI conviction is that the driver is not eligible for a hardship license after a second administrative suspension for refusing to submit, or after a second conviction for DUI.

Second DUI Within Five (5) Years of Prior DUI Conviction

If your second DUI arrest occurred within five years of a prior DUI conviction, then the following statutory minimum requirements will be imposed in your case unless or until you avoid the DUI conviction:

  1. Jail Time or Incarceration: At least 10 days incarceration (jail time) with at least 48 hours of consecutive jail time (the maximum jail time is nine (9) months unless the BAC was .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle, in which case the maximum incarceration is 12 months);
  2. Probationary Term: Up to 12 months probation (with credit for any jail time imposed);
  3. Fines: Between $1,000 and $2,000 (if the BAC is .15 or if a minor is in the vehicle then the fine imposed must be between $2,000 to $4,000);
  4. Community Service: 50 hours;
  5. Vehicle Impoundment: Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation the vehicle impoundment or immobilization period is for thirty (30) days which can not occur until after the jail time has been served (exception may apply if vehicles operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant):
  6. Driver License Revocation Period: Minimum 5 years revocation (may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year);
  7. Business Purposes Only / Employment Purposes Only Reinstatement: No hardship license during first twelve (12) months, although defendant may apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after one year if
    1. DUI school completed;
    2. Defendant remains in DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (missing treatment or counseling will result in cancellation of hardship driver's license)
    3. Defendant must not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
  8. DUI School: Level Two DUI School includes substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow up treatment;
  9. Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device: At least twelve (12) months or twenty-four (24) months if the BAL is .15 or over.

What Counts as a Prior DUI?

One of the most common issues when a person is accused of a second DUI is whether the case will be treated at sentencing as a first DUI or a second DUI. In most cases, the judge and the prosecutor will rely on the defendant's Florida driving record to determine if the defendant has an prior conviction for DUI or DWI. Other states will often report a DUI conviction that occurs out of state to the State of Florida so that it can be included on the defendant's driving record, although not all prior convictions will show up.

Keep in mind that even if the judge or prosecutor do not realize that the defendant has a prior DUI conviction for sentencing purposes, the Florida DHSMV may still suspend or revoke your driver's license based on the number of prior DUI's showing on your Florida driving record. And prior DUI can be reported to the State of Florida at any time (even years later).

A conviction for any of the following offenses will count as a prior offense for purposes of sentencing:

  1. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) under Florida Statute Section 316.193; or former section 316.1931, 860.01 or 316.028.
  2. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) pursuant to Florida Statute Section 327.35; or
  3. A previous conviction outside of the State of Florida for driving under the influence (DUI), driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level, driving with an unlawful breath-alcohol level; driving while intoxicated (DWI), or any other similar drug or alcohol related traffic offense.

What Happens to My Driver's License if I'm Convicted of a Second DUI?

For a 2nd DUI conviction not within 5 years from prior conviction, the court will impose a revocation that will last for either 6 months or 12 months. During that time, you will not be eligible to obtain a hardship license. Instead, you must serve the full revocation period before requesting driver license reinstatement.

If you are convicted of a second DUI that occurred within 5 years of a prior conviction then the court will impose a 5 year revocation. Even if the court doesn’t impose the 5 year revocation, the DHSMV will add the 5 year revocation once it discovers the second DUI conviction within 5 years. You will not be allowed to driver for any reason during the first 12 months of the revocation period.

After one year from the effective date of the revocation, you become eligible to hardship license at the Administrative Reviews Office. You must complete DUI School, and treatment, if referred. You must also have a favorable recommendation from the Special Supervision Services Program. If you are approved to reinstate early for hardship purposes, you must present this approval to the driver license office. You must remain in the Special Supervision Services Program for the duration of the revocation period to retain your hardship license.

What if you wait until after the revocation period ends to reinstate your license? If you wait until the revocation period ends before trying to reinstate your license, then you must show proof of enrollment or completion of DUI School, and treatment, if referred. 

Whether you are applying for a hardship license or a full license, at the time of reinstatement, you must take the required driving examination, and pay an Administrative fee and revocation reinstatement fee and any license fee required. You must also comply with he FR-44 requirements. 

Finding a Lawyer for a Second DUI in Hillsborough County, FL

If you have been arrested for a second DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your defense to this serious accusation. Our attorneys are focused on DUI Defense. Call us to find out more about what you need to do today to protect your driver's license, criminal record and good name.

Call 813-250-0500 for your free consultation either on the phone or in the office.

This article was last updated on Thursday, August 24, 2017.