DUI With Prior Convictions
Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence can be an extraordinarily stressful experience. Many first time offenders find themselves whisked off to jail and fear thousands of dollars in expenses and jail time. The reality is that may first time DUI defendants do not face extraordinarily harsh penalties. DUI is an extremely common criminal offense that does not discriminate. Doctors, lawyers, and even judges are all the types of people that have ended up charged with DUI. Prosecutors and judges understand that many people make the mistake of drinking and driving and that we should not be harshly punishing those who get caught on their first offense. Nevertheless, if you have been arrested for DUI, you should still consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to understand your options.
The real problems start after your first conviction for DUI. While the system recognizes how common drinking and driving offenses can be, prosecutors and judges have far less empathy for repeat offenders. Our state legislature has passed several laws that significantly increase the penalties for those convicted of multiple DUI offenses. The reality is that most people who are arrested for multiple DUIs suffer from alcoholism or other addictions. The trend in State and National government is to severely punish addiction instead of treating the root cause of the disease. This has resulted in ever increasing punishments for DUI offenders in the State of Florida.Second DUI Convictions
A second DUI offense can fall into one of two categories. The first category is second DUI outside of five years. This offense can be charged if a person arrested for DUI has a prior DUI conviction on their record that is more than five years old. If convicted under this law, the State has added penalties such as increased fines and mandatory ignition interlock installation. Additionally, while a person convicted of a first DUI will be permitted to apply for a hardship drivers license, someone convicted a second time will be prohibited. A second DUI within five years can be charged if the prior DUI conviction occurred within five years of the new arrest. A second within five DUI carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence along with a mandatory five year license suspension. The penalties for such a second DUI can be significant, so do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Sarasota DUI defense lawyer.Third DUI Convictions
While the prosecution may only charge a first or second DUI offense as a misdemeanor, when a person is arrested for their third offense, the state may be permitted to file felony charges. If the defendant has two prior convictions for driving under the influence within ten years of the new arrest, the stat can bring charges of felony DUI. Felony DUI can be a serious offense. The mandatory jail sentence is 30 days and a mandatory ignition interlock device will be installed in the defendant’s vehicle for 2 years. The law also requires a license suspension of 10 years.Fourth DUI Convictions
Prosecutions for fourth DUI offenses can be charged as felonies regardless of the age of the prior convictions. While there is no minimum jail or prison sentence associated with a fourth offense, prosecutors will typically seek severe sentences in these instances. A fourth DUI conviction will also carry a mandatory permanent license revocation. Prosecutors and judges do not look kindly on those arrested or charged with a fourth DUI, and if you are facing such charges, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated Sarasota DUI defense lawyer immediately.Speak To Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending those charged with DUI offenses. We have developed effective defenses for our clients and have a reputation for achieving excellent results. If you are interested in a consultation regarding your case, don’t hesitate to contact us at 941.462.1789.