If you have been arrested for a third DUI offense, your minimum statutory requirements will depend on whether your third DUI occurred within ten (10) years of any prior DUI conviction. If the third DUI occurred within 10 years of any prior offense, then the crime can be charged as a felony.
Within the first 21 days after the arrest, the prosecutor might decide to file the third DUI as a misdemeanor even if it occurred within ten (10) years of a prior conviction. Hiring an attorney to help you fight for the best resolution at the earliest stages of the caes can make a huge difference.
Whether your case is filed as a felony or a misdemeanor, if the third (3rd) DUI is reduced to a less serious offense such as reckless driving, then you can avoid many of these harsh penalties that would otherwise be required, including any driver's license suspension.
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Attorney for a Third DUI in Tampa, FL
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.
Hiring an attorney immediately after the arrest is important because State Attorney's Office in Tampa, Hillsborough County will typically make a decision about whether to file the charge as a felony or a misdemeanor within 21 days after the arrest.
Your attorney may be able to present sufficient information to the intake prosecutor to convince them to file the charge as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Contact us at 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.
Third DUI Outside of 10 Years of Second DUI Conviction
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:
- Incarceration or Jail Time: Imprisonment for not more than 12 months;
- Terms of Probation: Up to 12 months (with credit for any jail time served);
- Fine: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000 (with BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle the fine will not be less than $4,000);
- Vehicle impoundment: Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation the vehicle impoundment is 90 days which must not occur at the same time as the jail time (exception if the vehicle operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant);
- Driver License Revocation Periods: Minimum 180 days revocation with a maximum of one (1) year;
- DUI School: Level II which includes substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow up treatment; and
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device: At least two (2) years.
Third DUI Within 10 Years of Any Prior DUI Conviction
Under Florida law, if the third DUI occurs within 10 years of the second DUI, then you may be charged with a felony DUI offense with the following mandatory minimum requirements must be imposed by the court unless you avoid the conviction:
- Jail: Mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days with at least 48 hours being served consecutively;
- Fine: Not more than $5,000 (unless the BAL was .20 or above or a minor was in the vehicle in which case the fine will be between $2,000 to $5,000;
- Vehicle Impoundment: 90 days;
- Driver's License Revocation: When 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: at least two (2) years;
- DUI School: which includes substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow up treatment.
Fines for a Third DUI in Florida
The fines for the third (3rd) DUI depend on whether the prior conviction occurred within or outside of 10 years. For a third conviction within 10 years from the second offense the fine is:
- Not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000; or
- If the BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor child in the vehicle, then the fine is not less than $4,000.
Jail Time or Imprisonment for a Third DUI in Florida
At the court’s discretion, the court can give the defendant credit for any time served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program which is credited toward the term of imprisonment required for a third DUI in Florida. The jail time or imprisonment required for a third DUI in Florida is:
- If the third DUI conviction is within ten (10) years of a prior conviction, then the mandatory imprisonment is at least 30 days (at least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive); or
- If the third conviction is more than ten (10) years of a prior conviction, then the mandatory imprisonment must be not more than twelve (12) months.
Driver's License Revocation Period for a Third DUI
The driver license revocation period for a third DUI depends on whether the third offense occurred within 10 years of a prior conviction including:
- Third offense within 10 years of the second conviction: Minimum 10 years revocation. May be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after two years.
- Third offense 10 or more years after the second conviction, the same revocation periods as first offense apply.
If the DHSMV discovers the third DUI conviction within 10 years of any prior DUI conviction, then it will send you an orer of license revocation. The order will list the date of offense, the date of conviction, the county, and the case number. The order explains that a hardship license may not be issued until two years after the revocation period begins. At that point, you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on all vehicle pursuant to Section 322.16(1)(a) and (b).
You will also receive a notice that you are required to purchase and provie FR44 Certification of Insurance providing bodily injury liability (BIL) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance coverage in the amount of $100,000 / $300,000 / $50,000 or combined single limits of $350,000 and maintai it for three years from the date of suspension of your financial responsibility case.
If otherwise eligible, to avoid a $250 reinstatement fee, you will need to provide the FR44 form beforethe FR suspension date. If you are approved for a hardship license, you must obtain the FR44 prior to your reinstatement.
Reinstatement of the Driver License after a Third DUI Conviction
Individuals convicted of a DUI may have their driver license privilege reinstated for business or employment purposes. To apply for a reinstatement of hardship privileges after a third DUI within ten (10) years of a prior conviction, the court or the DHSMV will impose a ten (10) year revocation.
To apply for a hardship driving privileges during those ten (10) years, the driver must:
- not drive for any reason for two (2) years;
- complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period
- not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement;
- install the mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.
Finding a Lawyer for a Third DUI in Florida
If you need to find an attorney for a third DUI in Tampa or Plant City, FL, then contact a Tampa DUI Attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We can help you understand the best ways to fight a third DUI offense in Tampa, Florida, or throughout Hillsborough County.
Whether your case involves a breath test, a blood test, a urine test, or a refusal to submit to testing, we can help.
Call 813-250-0500 today.
This article was last updated on Friday, August 16, 2019.