In Florida, drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence after having been convicted of DUI in the past often face enhanced charges and penalties. In the case of a second or third DUI, the state will take into consideration when the previous DUIs occurred when charging drivers and exposing them to harsher penalties. The look-back period for a second DUI is 5 years, and 10 years for a third DUI.
What makes fourth DUIs unique in Florida is that the look-back period does not apply. If a driver is charged with DUI and a prosecutor can show they have been convicted of three prior DUIs at any time in the past, then they can be charged with their fourth DUI, a third-degree felony.
The prosecution has the obligation of proving a driver has been convicted of three DUIs in the past, and this matter can become complicated based on the circumstances of the case and the driver’s record. When demonstrating that a driver has been convicted of three prior DUIs, courts will consider DUIs from other states, as well as prior offenses in states where a driver is charged with a “lesser charge” that still proves they operated a vehicle while under the influence.
Under Florida law, a fourth DUI is a felony offense that poses very serious penalties and long-term consequences. Penalties include up to 5 years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and driver’s license revocation ranging from 10 years to a lifetime ban. Felonies also strip individuals of certain civil rights and privileges, such as owning a gun, voting, or qualifying for certain benefits.
Driving under the influence is a serious crime in Florida – especially when there are priors and aggravating circumstances involved. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors who have handled a wide range of DUI cases in courts across the state, as well as from both sides of the courtroom. Our legal team is understands how prosecutors work to gain convictions, and we leverage this insight to help clients achieve the best outcomes possible.
If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, do not delay in seeking the experienced legal representation you need. Our team handles both criminal and driver’s license proceedings, and is available days, nights, and weekends to help. Contact us for a FREE consultation.