After an arrest for a second DUI in Palm Beach County or the surrounding areas in Florida, you basically have two cases pending against you.
The first case is with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) if it administratively suspended your driver’s license based on an alleged refusal or a BAC of .08 or over. For that administrative case, it is imperative that you hire an attorney to demand a formal review hearing to fight the suspension. The attorney can get you a 42-day permit so you can keep driving to work while your attorney prepares for the hearing.
If your attorney wins the hearing, the administrative suspension of six (6) months to eighteen (18) months comes off your record entirely. Even if you do not get the administrative suspension invalidated, your attorney will be able to gather important information during the hearing that can be used to fight the criminal charges.
The second case is in court. Your attorney will fight to get the charged reduced or dropped entirely. The goal in many of these cases is avoiding a DUI conviction. Your penalties depend on a variety of factors including whether the prior DUI conviction occurred within or outside five years of the new arrest.
Attorney for a Second DUI in West Palm Beach, FL
After an arrest for a second DUI in Palm Beach County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We can help you understand the charges against you, the potential penalties, and the best way to fight the criminal charges.
We fight DUi cases after an arrest by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Palm Beach Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, North Palm Beach Police Department, Atlantis Police Department, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, Riviera Beach Police Department, Tequesta Police Department, Jupiter Police Department, and the Juno Beach Police Department.
With offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, FL, we fight DUI cases throughout Palm Bech County and Broward County, FL. We can help you fight the administrative suspension and the criminal charges. Call (561) 283-3259 to discuss your case.
Punishments for a Second DUI Outside of Five (5) Years
If the second DUI occurred more than five years from the first DUI conviction, then the statutory maximum penalties include:
- Incarceration: For a second DUI, you face up to nine (9) months in jail;
- Probation: Up to 12 (twelve) months of probation;
- Community Service Hours: Required minimum of 50 hours of community service;
- Fine: Minimum fine of $1,000 but up to $2,000 (with a blood alcohol reading of .15 or higher or if a minor was in the vehicle, then the minimum fine is $2,000 but up to $4,000);
- Driver's License Revocation: At least a six (6) month suspension with a maximum suspension of up to twelve (12) months (however you will not qualify for a hardship permit if the first DUI conviction is on your Florida driving record);
- Immobilization of Vehicle: Ten (10) days of vehicle immobilization or impoundment;
- DUI School: The judge must impose a requirement that the driver complete DUI school and any required follow up treatment;
- Ignition Interlock Device: the ignition interlock device must be installed for one year.
Penalties for a Second DUI Within Five (5) Years
If the second DUI occurred within five years of a prior conviction then the following penalties apply:
- Incarceration: The court must imposed a minimum of 10 days in jail with 48 hours of consecutive jail time (the maximum period of incarceration is nine (9) months unless the breath test reading was .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle, in which case the maximum jail time is twelve (12) months);
- Probationary Term: Twelve (12) months probation;
- Fines: The court must impose a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,000 (except that if the alcohol reading is .15 or if a minor is in the vehicle then the fine imposed must be between $2,000 to $4,000);
- Community Service: The court is required to impose 50 hours (although the court may allow you to buy out a portion of those hours out at a rate of $10 per hour);
- Driver License Revocation Period: If you were convicted of a second DUI within five years then the court must impose a minimum 5 years revocation of your driver's license (with no driving at all during the first 12 months of the suspension and the possibility of a hardship reinstatement after 1 year);
- Vehicle Impoundment: The court is required to impose a requirement that you impound or immobilize your vehicle for thirty (30) day.
- Hardship Reinstatement: After a driver's license revocation for five years you are not eligible for a hardship license during the first twelve (12) months, although you may apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after one year if the following conditions are met:
- You have completed DUI school;
- You remain in a DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period;
- You have not consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
- DUI School: The court must impose a requirement that you complete DUI school which typically involves completion of Level Two DUI School includes substance abuse evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment;
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device: The court must impose a requirement that you install the ignition interlock device for at least twelve (12) months after serving any period of incarceration or twenty-four (24) months if the alcohol reading is .15 or over.
This article was last updated on Friday, March 30, 2018.