Third DUI in Florida? Here's what you need to know

When a person gets his or her first DUI, it may be a fluke. First offenses are treated fairly lightly, and although they're penalized, people may walk away without spending time in prison or paying extreme fines. That's not the case when it's your third offense.

A third offense leaves courts with little way to excuse your actions, especially if the DUIs occurred close together. With a history of drug or alcohol abuse on your record, you're in a precarious position.

What happens if you're convicted of a third DUI within 10 years?

You'll face a mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days to start with. That time doesn't have to be consecutive, but at least 48 hours must be consecutive at a time. If this is your third DUI but not within 10 years of the other DUIs, you face up to a year in prison with no mandatory sentence.

Your vehicle may also be impounded for up to 90 days. This happens when you are not incarcerated and can't happen concurrently. There is an exception: If you can show your family has no other vehicle, then the courts may choose not to impound your vehicle.

Committing a third DUI within 10 years is a felony crime. A third-degree felony has a penalty of no more than $5,000 and no more than five years imprisonment. Even if this was not your third DUI within 10 years, you could face a third-degree felony charge if you are proven guilty of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injuries to others.

A DUI is a serious charge, and it can result in a prison sentence, fines, having a vehicle impounded and other negative penalties. A third DUI is particularly hard for individuals, which is why they need to focus on defense.

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