Second DUI Offense

Second DUI Offense

When someone is accused of DUI a second time, the penalties increase dramatically. In fact, Florida law provides for certain enhanced penalties even if the prior conviction occurred out of state. The statutory minimum penalties depend on whether the prior conviction occurred within five years or outside of a five year period.

With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee, FL, you may be able to avoid a DUI conviction. The goal in many of these cases is to have the charge reduced to a less serious offense such as reckless driving.

Lawyer for a Second DUI in Tallahassee

A second DUI has the potential to severely impact your future. It can affect your potential to find a job or even housing. The conviction can haunt you for several years, even after you have endured the criminal penalties. Contact a skilled attorney at Pumphrey Law.

The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have years of experience representing clients charged with all levels of driving under the influence. Some of the attorneys have hands-on knowledge of DUI cases, including one who has been trained on the operation of the Intoxilyzer 8000, the approved breath test machine in Florida.

Let the attorneys at Pumphrey Law help you make the best decisions for your future. Call (850) 681-7777 to discuss your case. The firm represents clients in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas in North Florida's Big Bend region including Monticello in Jefferson County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Bristol in Liberty County.


Information About a Second DUI in Florida


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Civil and Criminal Penalties After a Second DUI

Two different types of cases will be pending against you after a second DUI arrest. The process will be similar to the first DUI arrest in which there will be the possibility of civil penalties and criminal penalties.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will begin an automatic administrative action to suspend your driver license immediately after you are arrested. This civil case is completely independent of the criminal cases. This means you can win the administrative case and lose the criminal case, or vise-versa.

In addition, a prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office in Florida will initiate a criminal prosecution against you for driving under the influence. If the charge is a misdemeanor, the case will be prosecuted in County Court. However, if it is a felony, it will be prosecuted in Circuit Court in the county in which you were arrested.


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Civil Case to Suspend Your Florida Driver's License

After a DUI arrest, you have the right to request a DMV formal review hearing to protect your driver's license. This can be beneficial to your case, especially for a second arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In some cases, you may be able to continue to drive without any restrictions while your criminal case is pending.

However, even if you are not awarded your ability to drive at the formal review hearing, the process still could prove beneficial to you. The evidence and testimony gained during the civil hearing may assist your attorney in fighting the criminal charges in court.

After the arrest, the officer will take your driver's license and issue you a 10-day driving permit if you are eligible. You must file a demand for a formal review hearing within those 10 days or your driver's license will be automatically suspended for either 12 months or 18 months, depending on whether you submitted to the breath test or not and whether you have previously refused to submit to a breath test.

  • Breath Test: If you blew over the legal limit of 0.08 then a 12-month suspension could be put in place. After serving 30 days of hard time, during which you cannot drive for any reason, you may become eligible for a business purpose only license. That license will allow you to drive to and from school, work, the hospital and other events for business purposes only for the rest of the 12-month period.
  • First Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test: If you refuse a breath test, you likely will receive a 12-month suspension. After serving 90 days of hard time, during which you cannot drive for any reason, you may become eligible for a business purpose only license. This license means you would be able to drive to and from school, work, the hospital and other events for business purposes only for the rest of the 12-month period.
  • Second Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test: A refusal comes with an 18-month suspension if you are found to have previously refused a chemical test. No hardship license is available after a refusal case involving a prior refusal for the entire 18-month period.

If you blew under the legal limit and then submitted to a urine test, no administrative action will occur. Likewise, if you submitted to a blood test the officer does not typically take your driver's license and initiate an administrative action.

If during the 10 days after your arrest for a second DUI you retain an attorney and demand a formal review hearing, your attorney may be able to help you obtain a 42-day driving permit. During those 42 days, you can continue driving for business purposes while your attorney prepares for the formal review hearing. Read more about DMV formal review hearings.


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Minimum Mandatory Punishments for Second DUI

The penalties for a second DUI depend on whether the prior offense occurred within five years or outside of five years as shown by the driving record. Depending on certain factors, you may be asked to provide your out-of-state driving record.

Even if the prosecutor does not treat the case as a second offense for sentencing, the DMV still can impose the suspension period for one. A prior conviction can include any DUI, BUI or alcohol-related driving offense from another state such as DWI or OVI.

However, if a driver has a more serious DUI conviction, such as a DUI with serious bodily injury or a DUI manslaughter, the penalties could be different. In addition, if the driver has an underage DUI, the punishment may be affected.


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Second DUI Outside of Five Years

If the second driving under the influence arrest is outside of five years from the prior DUI conviction, then the offense will be generally treated the same as a first DUI as far as mandatory penalties required by Florida statutes.

However, the maximum jail time that can be imposed is nine months, fines are between $1,000 to $2,000 and the ignition interlock device must be installed for one year. No minimum jail time is required, although the prosecutor may ask for more than the minimum requirement to resolve the case short of trial.

The most serious consequence of a second drunk driving conviction is that the driver is not eligible for a hardship license after a second administrative suspension for refusing to submit, or after a second conviction for DUI. This means the driver likely will have restricted driving abilities.


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Second DUI within Five Years of Prior DUI Conviction

If your second DUI arrest occurred within five years of a prior driving under the influence conviction, you could face the following statutory minimum requirements:

  • Jail time: At least 10 days in jail, 48 hours of which must be served consecutively. The statutory maximum jail time for a second DUI involves nine months. If the BAC was 0.15 or higher or a minor child was in the vehicle, then the maximum period of incarceration is 12 months in jail.
  • Driver license revocation: The court must revoke the defendant's driver's license for a minimum of five years. This means the defendant is not eligible for a hardship license of a minimum of 12 months if DUI school is completed. The defendant must remain in the supervision program for the rest of the period and must not have consumed any alcohol or driven any vehicle for the prior 12 months.
  • Probation: The court to impose up to 12 months probation with credit for any jail time imposed.
  • Fines: The court is required to impose fines between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Community Service: The court is required to impose a special condition that 50 hours of community service is completed during the term of probation.
  • Vehicle impoundment: The court is required to order the defendant to immobilize any vehicle in his or her name for 30 days, which must occur after the jail sentence is imposed. This condition may be waived if another family member depends on that vehicle for transportation.
  • Level Two DUI School: The defendant is required to complete the level II DUI school, which consist of classroom instruction, a drug and alcohol substance abuse evaluation and follow up treatment.
  • Ignition interlock device: The court must impose at least 12 months of having an ignition interlock device installed in the defendant's vehicle. If the Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration is 0.15 or more, the punishment could be 24 months.

Even after you have completed all of the terms and conditions imposed by the court, drivers still must reinstate his or her driver's license. For reinstatement, you must show proof of obtaining FR-44 insurance, pay a reinstatement fee of $60, pay an administrative fee of $115 and pay a driver's license fee.


Level 2 DUI School in Tallahassee

After a conviction for a second DUI in Florida, you will be required to enroll in Level 2 DUI School in Tallahassee at the North Florida Safety Council (sometimes called the DUI School for multiple offenders). If you register online, you must pay an online pre-registration fee of $437 by credit card.

If you register in the office, call to schedule a registration appointment. Registration in the office is $420 which must be paid by cash or money order. If you want to pay by credit card in the office, you must pay an additional convenience fee.

After registering, be sure to pick up your proof of enrollment and return the required enrollment forms. Under Florida Administrative Rule 15a.10 and Florida Statute 316.193(5), the Department of Motor Vehicles will require completion of the 21 hour course and an evaluation to satisfy certain statutory requirements so that you can reinstate your license after a court ordered or administrative suspension for a second offense of DUI, DUI refusal, DUBAL, DWI, DUI reduced to WWRD (reckless driving if substance abuse related).

In some cases, you must also enroll in DUI school after a conviction for Boating under the Influence or other related crimes if required by the court. Additionally, even if you have never been convicted of DUI before, you might still be required to take level II DUI School for a second or subsequent lifetime arrest of a DUI related crime or if you have already completed a level one DUI program for any other reason.

In addition to providing classes in Leon County, FL, the North Florida Safety Council also serves people who live and work in Franklin County, Gadsden County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Wakulla County, Madison County, and Taylor County.

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Finding an Attorney for a Second DUI in Tallahassee

After an arrest for a second driving under the influence charge, the stakes are high. Obtaining an experienced Tallahassee DUI Attorney early in your case may make a huge difference in how the case is resolved.

Contact our office at (850) 681-7777 for any drunk driving offense in Tallahassee or any of the surrounding counties, including Quincy in Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Gadsden County, Monticello in Jefferson County, and Bristol in Liberty County.


This article was last updated on Tuesday, August 2, 2016.

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Don Pumphrey Jr.
Donald Pumphrey Jr.

Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.

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