Prior DUI Convictions

How a Prior DUI Conviction Impacts a Subsequent DUI Arrest

A person who is arrested in Florida for DUI may face penalties that include jail time, fines, and loss of license. A DUI suspect who has a record of prior convictions for drunk driving is subject to additional punishments in the event of conviction. With each subsequent DUI conviction, the penalties increase, with additional jail time and steeper fines.

Why Those with Prior DUI Convictions Need Proper Legal Defense

A person who is charged with a first-time DUI in Florida faces misdemeanor charges. The same is true for someone who has a previous conviction and is facing a second DUI charges.

However, a third DUI charge – that occurs within 10 years of a previous conviction – is considered a felony charge. The same is true of a fourth DUI conviction (regardless of when the others occurred). Felony crimes carry lengthy jail terms and steep fines.

In addition to the legal concerns – monetary fines and imprisonment – a person with a felony record may find it difficult to obtain gainful employment and specific forms of public or private assistance. This is why some DUI suspects with a prior DUI conviction choose to aggressively defend against subsequent DUI charges.

Consequences for DUI with One Prior Conviction (Second DUI Offense)

In Florida, a person who faces charges on a second DUI offense is subject to misdemeanor penalties that include:

  • fines – between $1,000 and $2,000 (there is a minimum $2,000 fine for those with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .15 or higher);
  • jail – as much as nine months or as much as 12 months with a BAL of .15 or higher or a minor in the vehicle;
  • suspension of driver’s license – between one and five years; and
  • ignition interlock device – installation required on vehicle for one to two years.

Other potential punishments include a requirement to complete DUI driving school and vehicle impoundment for as much as 30 days.

Consequences for DUI with 2 Prior Convictions (Third DUI Offense)

A suspect who faces charges on a third DUI offense is subject to third-degree felony charges, provided the charge takes place within 10 years of a previous conviction.

The potential penalties for a third DUI conviction include: 

  • fines – between $2,000 and $5,000 (there is a minimum $4,000 fine for those with a BAL of .15 or higher);
  • jail – 30 days (mandatory if within 10 years of previous conviction) to as much as one year;
  • suspension of driver’s license – 10 years; and
  • ignition interlock device – installation required on vehicle for two years.

Other potential punishments include DUI school and vehicle impoundment for as much as 90 days. Those convicted of a third DUI offense may also face additional long-term consequences such as difficultly securing certain types of employment.

Consequences for DUI with 3 Prior Convictions (Fourth DUI Offense)

A fourth DUI offense is considered a third-degree felony charge regardless of when prior DUIs occurred.

The potential punishments for a fourth DUI conviction include:

  • fines – a minimum of $2,000;
  • jail – as much as five years; and
  • suspension of driver’s license – indefinitely.

Additional consequences for a fourth DUI conviction may include difficultly finding employment, financial strain, and other lifestyle losses.

If you have recently been charged with drunk driving and have a prior conviction for DUI, contact a defense attorney. Call 877-663-5110.