Second DUI Lawyer Near Me in Jupiter FL Serving Palm Beach County
In Florida, the consequences for a second DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can carry with it harsh consequences.
Being pulled over for suspected DUI is already one of the most anxiety-inducing things that can happen to you while driving. In fact, data shows that involuntary interactions with police can cause anxiety and trauma to skyrocket. But when it’s your second DUI, all that fear, shame, and anxiety is that much more intense. Working with a skilled, attentive second DUI lawyer is the best way to secure a favorable outcome in this situation.
At Simko Law Group, second DUI defense lawyer Andrew Simko has handled all types of DUI charges, both at felony and misdemeanor levels. As a former prosecutor, he knows better than anybody just how hard the prosecution will work to “seek justice,” which usually means ensuring you’re convicted.
If you or a loved one are facing second DUI charges in Florida, call (561) 951-1264 to schedule your free case evaluation today.
Penalties for a Second DUI Offense in Florida
If you’re convicted of a second DUI in Florida, you may be hit with some or all these penalties:
- Jail Time: You face a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and a maximum sentence of up to 9 months following your second DUI conviction in Florida
- Fines: These can range from $1,000 – $2,000, depending on the circumstances of your offense
- License Suspension: Your license can be suspended for a minimum of 5 years
- Ignition Interlock Device: The court may order you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which requires you to provide an alcohol-free breath sample before your vehicle will start
- Community Service: The court may order you to spend a set amount of hours providing community service
- Probation: Your probation following a second DUI can last up to 12 months, and includes mandatory tasks like meeting with your probation officer regularly
- DUI School: You may have to attend courses related to driving and participate in any recommended programs
- Substance Abuse Treatment: The court can require you to undergo substance abuse treatment or rehab
While any of the above penalties are possible with a second DUI conviction, your specific sentence might vary. Per Florida Statute Section 316.193, it all depends on the specific circumstances of the offense, like your BAC at the time of arrest and how long ago your first DUI was.
That’s why it’s critical to hire a focused, knowledgeable second DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you take this step, the sooner you’ll have a clear view of your legal options and potential defenses.
Will the Prosecutor Become Aware of My Prior DUI?
Yes, the prosecutor will most likely become aware of your prior DUI—even if it happened in another state. You see, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies have access to several tools and databases designed for this exact purpose.
One example is the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. It allows prosecutors across the US to share information on traffic violations, such as DUIs. Basically, unless your prior DUI has been expunged, sealed, or happened many years in the past, the prosecution will almost definitely find out about it.
Potential Defenses for a 2nd DUI
Now you have a grasp of the potential consequences you face with second DUI charges and the importance of minimizing them. Penalties like license suspension can make it nearly impossible to commute, travel, and live your life in general.
When you work with a knowledgeable second DUI lawyer like Andrew Simko, he’ll work with you to craft a custom defense strategy for your specific situation. That said, here are a couple of potential defenses for a second DUI:
- Illegal traffic stop – Under both state and federal law, a police officer can only pull you over if they have reasonable suspicion that you’re committing a traffic infraction or have probable cause that you committed a crime. As your second DUI defense lawyer, we’ll look for evidence that the officer didn’t have a legal reason to stop you.
- Insufficient probable cause – Before an officer can arrest you for DUI, they must have probable cause. If we can demonstrate the officer arrested you based on insufficient evidence or even an assumption, we may be able to get your case dismissed. A perfect example is the State v. Kliphouse case, where it was decided that smelling alcohol in a driver’s car isn’t sufficient for an arrest.
Court Process When Charged with Second DUI in Florida
After being charged with your second DUI in Florida, the court process usually goes as follows:
- First appearance: Your first appearance in court will happen within 24 hours of your arrest. The judge will decide whether the officer had legal probable cause for arresting and charging you.
- Bail hearing: With your first appearance, the judge may decide on bail. This is the dollar amount you need to pay in order to be released between now and your trial date. Bail is determined based on factors like your criminal history and current charges.
- Arraignment: This is when the charges against you are formally read, and you have to enter a plea of either ‘not guilty,’ ‘no contest,’ or ‘guilty.’ As your second DUI lawyer, we can advise you on how to plead.
- Pre-trial conference: If a pre-trial conference is scheduled, both sides will spend it discussing your case, including options for a plea bargain.
- Discovery: Both sides are required to exchange relevant information and evidence to properly prepare for the trial. (There are no ‘surprise witnesses’ or ‘new evidence’ sprung in court like you see on TV.)
- Motion hearings: Both the defense and prosecution can file motions for things like dismissing certain pieces of evidence, and other details that can impact the outcome of the case.
- Negotiations: Many second DUI charges are resolved by the prosecution and defense negotiating, rather than going to trial. But if both sides can’t agree, you’ll proceed to trial.
- Trial: This can happen before just a judge, or a judge and jury depending on your preference. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each option so you can make a smart choice.
- Sentencing (if found guilty): If you’re found guilty, a separate sentencing hearing is typically the next step. The judge must consider things like your prior convictions and the details of your current case to determine your sentence.
- Appeal: If you’re unhappy with the outcome of your trial, you may be able to appeal to a higher court. They’ll review the case for any violations of your rights and other legal errors. If they find any, they may modify or overturn your sentence.
Work with a Skilled, Focused Second DUI Defense Lawyer
Have you been arrested in Florida for a second DUI? If so, it’s crucial to consult with a well-versed, experienced second DUI lawyer who can shed light on the details of your case, help you fully understand your legal options, and work tirelessly to protect your rights and interests.
That’s what we do best here at Simko Law Group. And because our attorney Andrew Simko is a former prosecutor, he has an insider’s perspective into how the prosecution might try to build a case against you.
Call Simko Law Group today at (561) 951-1264 to schedule your free case evaluation. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working to win you a favorable outcome.
Frequently Asked Question About Second DUI in Florida
How long will I lose my license for a second DUI in Florida?
After being convicted of your second DUI in Florida, you’ll lose your license for:
- A minimum of five years if your first DUI conviction was less than 5 years ago
- Six to 13 months if your first DUI conviction was more than 5 years ago
And remember, it doesn’t matter whether your first DUI happened in Florida or another state. If the prosecution finds out about the first conviction, this DUI counts as your second—and you’re at risk of losing your license for a set period.
Can I get a hardship license after a 2nd DUI in Florida?
Yes, you do technically receive a hardship license after a 2nd DUI in Florida. After you’re arrested, you’ll receive a citation. This citation serves as your temporary driver’s license for the next 10 days. During these 10 days, your attorney can challenge the administrative suspension.
If this challenge is successful, your license won’t be suspended by the DMV. But if you’re denied, your license will be suspended for 12 to 18 months.
It’s important to remember that since this is your second DUI, there’s no downside to challenging the suspension.
This is different from facing your first DUI. In that scenario, you had the option to waive the hearing and immediately get a hardship license. But because you’re facing your second DUI, you no longer have that ability.
This is another reason your top priority following your second DUI arrest should be hiring a skilled, responsive second DUI lawyer in Florida. The clock is ticking—you only have 10 days from your arrest to challenge the suspension.
If you’re reading this after searching online for a “2nd DUI lawyer near me in Palm Beach County,” contact us now at (561) 951-1264 to discuss filing this challenge.
Once your attorney files the challenge to this suspension, you’ll also be granted an additional 42 hours on top of the initial 10 days you’re given to drive following a DUI arrest.
Outside of this route, getting a hardship license in Florida following a second DUI conviction is tricky. Per the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you may not be eligible for a hardship license until one year after your second DUI conviction.
Can a second DUI be expunged or sealed in Florida?
No, in Florida, DUI convictions can’t be expunged or sealed—they’re a permanent part of your public record. This is another huge reason to consider hiring a skilled, attentive second DUI defense lawyer as soon as you possibly can.
While you can’t get a DUI expunged or sealed in Florida, you can do so with lesser charges. If we’re able to, for example, get your DUI reduced to a reckless driving charge, you’d be eligible for expungement.
Contact the Palm Beach County DUI Defense Lawyers at Simko Law Group today if you’re facing second DUI charges in Florida. As your second DUI lawyer, we’ll look into every possible avenue for putting these charges behind you once and for all.