The prosecution in a second offense DUI case handles the charge much differently than they would for a first offense DUI. For a first offense, there may be a diversion program option for certain cases, however, there is no diversion available for second offense DUIs.
To determine the other specific factors that may be relevant in your DUI case, it is imperative to contact a West Palm Beach DUI attorney immediately. Specifically, a second offense DUI lawyer in West Palm Beach can build a case to help lessen or dismiss any penalties you may be facing. En Español.
Severity of the Charge
In Florida, DUI is an enhancement crime. A second offense DUI is treated much more harshly than a first offense DUI. Second offense DUI charges are heard in the main courthouse, which is located in downtown West Palm Beach.
If a person has a second offense DUI within five years of a prior offense, there are minimum mandatory penalties that a prosecutor must impose. It is the prosecutor’s job to prosecute that second offense more vigorously than the first. This pursuit can be best defended against using a West Palm Beach second offense DUI attorney.
If a person receives a conviction for a DUI, they will often participate in a diversion program, or receive mandatory penalties for their crime. Many people learn their lesson the first time and do not repeat the offense.
When a prosecutor sees second offenses or subsequent offenses, their suspicions starts to become that the individual has a drug or alcohol problem, that they did not learn their lesson the first time, and that they are more of a danger to the community because they committed the offense ago. The prosecution may assume that this individual is still out there constituting a danger to the community.
There are mandatory penalties for a second offense within five years of a prior conviction with a minimum of 10 days in jail and a five-year driver’s license revocation, which is much more serious than for a first offense DUI. To combat against such penalties, an individual should contact a West Palm Beach second offense DUI attorney immediately.
Time Between DUIs
The amount of time between DUI charges matters because it shows a pattern of conduct. Someone who has received three DUIs within thirty years will face much less severe penalties than someone who has had three DUIs within three years. Someone who keeps committing offenses and does not stop will face stricter penalties than a much less frequent offender.
The amount of time between DUIs matters based on the context of the person’s behavior and how dangerous that person is perceived to be in the eyes of the community.
The shorter the amount of time between DUIs, the more of a danger the person is perceived to be, and the more serious the person’s case will be handled. The more time there is between DUIs, the less of a danger and the less serious a person may be perceived to be. Some of the penalties are worse for second, third, and fourth offense DUIs no matter how far apart they are. No matter the severity of the penalties, an individual must not hesitate before contacting a West Palm Beach second offense DUI attorney as soon as possible.