We understand that being arrested is always a frightening situation, no less so when it’s a 2nd DUI arrest. If this is your second time being accused of drunk driving in the state of Florida, there’s no doubt you have serious concerns. What follows is a collection of the top questions of clients charged with second offense DUI in Florida. We hope our answers help put some of your concerns to rest.
Every DUI case is unique, so if you would like a better understanding of your particular case, we are available for a consultation at no charge. Firm partner John Castro is a top-rated DUI attorney in Tampa who will work with you one-on-one to get the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
I just got arrested for my 2nd offense DUI. Is it possible for a lawyer to plea bargain?
A skilled criminal defense attorney is able to represent his client’s best interests no matter if it is a first DUI offense or fifth DUI offense. Plea bargaining begins with knowledge of the law applied to the facts of each case. First and foremost, every lawyer’s first argument should be based on a sound legal basis. That may be in the form of a motion to suppress an incriminating statement or an improper breath test procedure.
As a fallback, an attorney can always bring up positive attributes of their client such as a strong work history or commitment to provide for a family.
It’s important to remember that the State Attorney can almost never use prior offenses as evidence in trial. In essence everyone is given a blank slate and is tried on the present facts. However, prior offenses can be presented to the judge for purposes of sentencing if found guilty or a plea is entered.
What happens if I get a second offense DUI in a different state from my first DUI?
All criminal records are entered into a nationwide database, this includes DUI’s. As a result, you will be subject to the state’s laws where the offense occurred as a second DUI.
I just got arrested for my second DUI? Am I going to jail?
Not necessarily. Each case is different and the outcome depends on the facts of the case. For example, a second DUI involving an injury to another only months after a first DUI is much more likely to result in jail time compared to a second DUI without involving injury twenty years after a first DUI.
Second DUI’s are usually treated as first degree misdemeanors in Florida, which means the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail. However, if found guilty or a plea is entered, probation with increased fines and a stiffer license suspension is a much more likely outcome when represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney.
What happens after a 2nd offense DUI refusal to blow or perform roadside sobriety test?
A second refusal to submit to a legal breath, blood, or urine test will result in a separate first degree misdemeanor charge. The charge will be carried along with the DUI, and can be challenged and analyzed by an attorney like any other offense. There is no legal requirement to perform field sobriety exercises (aka tests). Therefore, there is no penalty to refuse.
Free DUI Consultation
Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance with your 2nd offense DUI arrest. Former Florida state prosecutor and experienced Tampa DUI attorney John Castro is here to help guide you through this difficult situation. Take the time to request a free consultation and discover what the best options are for your particular case.