Getting a third DUI charge in Florida is very serious and associated with the most severe DUI penalties. If you are convicted, you may face thousands of dollars in penalties, plus incarceration, and a possible ten-year suspension or revocation of our driver’s license. You may also have a felony on your record that will seriously affect you for the rest of your life.
I Was Charged With A 3rd DUI, When Should I Get An Attorney?
In Florida, you only have ten days after your arrest to hire an attorney with regards to the driver’s license suspension. You will be asked at the time of your arrest if you want to have a formal hearing- the answer should always be YES. Your attorney can then attend the formal review of the hearing and help preserve your license or limit the time of revocation. However, if you were previously convicted of DUI, or had a prior administrative suspension for whatever reason, then you may not qualify for the immediate reinstatement of your driver’s license.
How Long Can I Drive With My Hardship License?
Once you have been arrested for a third DUI, your attorney can demand a formal review hearing and help preserve your driver’s license. If the judge approves of your hardship license you will get a permit for about 6 weeks so that you can continue to drive while your criminal attorney helps fight the case. However, when you apply for a hardship license you must have been free of any alcohol for 12 months prior to reinstatement. In addition, the court may mandate that you have an ignition interlock device for 24 months.
Is A Third DUI A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In Florida?
If you have had two prior DUI convictions on your driving record and then enter a plea for a charge of a third DUI in Florida, then the prosecution may either charge you with a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI. The prosecutor will look at your prior driving record, your prior and present blood alcohol levels and if there was any injury or fatality as a result of this or prior DUIs. The decision to charge you is usually made by the prosecutor. Because of this time limit, it is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible, as the attorney needs to get all the police reports, review them, and help prepare for your defense.
How Long Can My License Be Suspended After My Third DUI?
Once you are convicted of a third DUI, regardless of what the court penalties are, the Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will also consider your third DUI and impose some restrictions on your driver’s license. This may include a revocation of your license for a maximum period of ten years.
How Can An Attorney Help Me With A 3rd DUI?
The first thing you need to do is contact an attorney to discuss your case. Under Florida law, if you are charged with a third DUI, the prosecutor will also look at your background to determine if you have had any other criminal convictions, in Florida or elsewhere. This can result in additional penalties and larger monetary penalties. Your attorney can help negotiate with the prosecutor on leniency or even get the charges reduced.
Criminal attorneys are experienced in fighting DUI charges and can help reduce a felony to charges like reckless driving, which carry lesser penalties. A charge of Reckless Driving can help avoid suspension of your license and other associated penalties and punishments. The attorney can also help obtain a 6-week permit which allows you to drive and present yourself at all court hearings. Frost Law represents clients facing DUI and other criminal charges. Get help from an experience and aggressive trial attorney and former state prosecutor. Call (407) 670-5569 today for your free consultation.