If a driver is arrested and charged with a second offense DUI in West Palm Beach, they will go through the same administrative process as a first offense arrest. An individual can lose their license if they fail a breath test by blowing over the legal limit. They can be put in jail and given a notice of suspension for failing the breath test.

Sometimes people take a breath test for the first time offense, in an attempt to be respectful and cooperative. However, if the person refuses to take a breath test, a police officer can take their license and give the person a notice of suspension for refusing to take a breath test. An accomplished and capable DUI attorney knows that penalties vary depending on the first offense on someone’s record, and is prepared to attempt to mitigate the penalties you may face.

License Penalties for a Second Offense

Individuals may refuse to take a second breath test if arrested for another drunk driving offense. If a person has previously lost their license for driving with unlawful blood alcohol level before conviction and the person picks up that second suspension for driving with unlawful blood alcohol level before conviction, if that suspension sticks, it is for one year instead of six months and, the person is not eligible for a hardship license the entire time.

If the person is arrested a second DUI and the person refuses and it is the first time the person refuses, the second refusal administers a suspension if that sticks. If the person’s lawyer challenges it and does not win or you forget to challenge it or the person misses the deadline, they are looking at a suspension of up to 18 months for their license following a second offense DUI in West Palm Beach.

The administrative side of the suspension, for post-arrest pre-conviction, the penalties go from six months to one year if the person fails a breath test and then they go from one year to 18 months if the person refuses to take a breath test. On top of that, if the person is arrested for a second time and, the person refuses to take a breath test for the second time, that second refusal to take a breath test is actually a misdemeanor in the State of Florida.

Consequences of Refusing A Breath Test

Refusing to take a breath test for the second time is a crime in Florida. That would affect the person’s driver’s license and their liberty if the person is arrested and charged with a DUI. If the person is convicted, any suspension they receive is considered a hard suspension. This means no hardship or restricted license. The person is not going to be eligible for any type of Driver’s license following a second offense DUI in West Palm Beach. The terms of the suspension period would depend upon the length of time between convictions. If the person’s second conviction for a DUI is within five years of their first conviction, the person is looking at a mandatory five-year driver’s license revocation.

It goes from the largest window possible, it used to go from conviction date to conviction date but now it goes from arrest date to conviction date. If a person’s first arrest and the person’s second conviction are within five years or any combination of that, the person is looking at a minimum mandatory five-year revocation.

If the person is outside that five-year history between the person’s first DUI and a second offense, the penalties revert back to what it would be a first offense. The minimum sentence on a suspension is be six months. If they have a prior conviction and prior suspension for DUI, they are not eligible for hardship license the entire length of the suspension.

Types of License Suspension

There are two different suspensions, it is the administrative suspension; that is the same process. The person has a right to challenge the government when they are trying to take away their license following a second offense DUI in West Palm Beach. Pre-conviction, whether the person fails a breath test or refuses to take a breath test, will go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. An attorney and their client can tell the department that they want to challenge the suspension and file appropriate pleadings and motions.

It is a different challenge on the administrative suspension on a second time DUI. The difference is the length of time for the suspension and the conditions on which the person gets a hardship license on a second DUI. Drivers charged with a second offense DUI can apply for a restricted license depending upon why their license was suspended the first time. If a person is acquitted of the DUI, it has no effect on the administrative suspension. Much like if a person challenges the administrative suspension and win because witnesses did not appear or the paperwork was not right or someone cannot testify to anything and it has no effect on the criminal case, that is a separate procedure altogether and there are separate suspensions.

Restricted Licenses

A person can apply for a restricted license a second time if the person took a breath test on the second time but not on the first time. If a person fails the breath test twice, the person cannot get a hardship license pending the person’s court case. If the person refuses twice, their first and second time, the person cannot get a hardship license. But if the person mixes it up, sometimes a person can get a hardship license. If a person is acquitted of the DUI, the person is not going to get their license suspended because the person is acquitted. However, on the administrative charge, that is a separate issue as to whether the person refuses or fails the breath test. 

The Department of Motor Vehicles would give the person a hardship license to drive while that challenge is pending. The Government will need to prove that they have a right to pull the individual over and that they have the right to suspect them of committing a DUI. They must also prove that the person was arrested for DUI and either took a breath test and failed or refused to give a breath and after refusing was properly warned that the refusal would result in a license suspension.

West Palm Beach Second Offense DUI Lawyer

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