Florida DUI Third Offense
A third offense DUI conviction in Florida is even more serious than a first or second offense conviction for the same infraction. Why? Because while State prosecutors may file this offense as a misdemeanor, they are also allowed to file it as a felony. Because the prosecution will file your charge within 21 days of your arrest, it is extremely important to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible who will be able to negotiate with the prosecution to file a lesser charge.
Third Offense DUI Misdemeanor Penalties
Third offense DUI penalties vary depending on the degree of your charge. A third offense DUI is typically filed as a misdemeanor if your last DUI charge was at least 10 years prior. Penalties for a third offense DUI misdemeanor charge may include up to 12 months of probation, jail time and fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. If your blood alcohol content was at or above 0.15% at the time of your arrest, you will face a minimum fine of $4,000. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days to a maximum of one year. You will also be required to attend DUI school and have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. Your vehicle will also be impounded for 90 days.
Third Offense DUI Felony Penalties
If your third DUI occurs within ten years of your last DUI conviction, it is likely that your charge could be filed as a felony. If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you may face a minimum mandatory 30-day jail sentence. You will also be responsible for up to $5,000 in fines and will face a 10-year revocation of your license. You will be required to attend Alcohol Evaluation and Treatment as well as Advanced DUI School. Your sentence may also include a period of community service. As a convicted felon, you may have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for at least two years after your license is reinstated. Your vehicle will also be subject to a 90-day impoundment.
The penalties and stigma associated with a felony conviction will continue long after your sentence is completed and all of your fines are paid. Having a felony on your record may make it difficult for you to find employment or even obtain rental housing. You will also lose your right to vote and carry firearms. Aggressively fighting this charge as soon as possible with the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney is the best way to protect your future.