How do you count previous DUI’s?

Its been almost 8 years since my last DUI; and I blew way under, however I had weed in the car. I just got my second last week and got over limit. Will they consider the time was under to be the first time? Its been over 10 years and I haven’t received as minor as a seatbelt ticket.

Asked on July 28, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is something that varies from one state to another.  It is also a question where, in practice, an experienced lawyer can make a real difference on the right facts.  I'd strongly recommend talking to counsel in your area about any pending charges of this sort.

Florida's law is complicated.  As I read it, for the DUI fines, the time between the first and second DUI's doesn't matter;  a second offense is a second offense, $2,000 to $4,000.  It makes a big difference, though, that you have more than 5 years gone past since your first DUI, since you would otherwise be looking at a mandatory (judge has no choice) 10 days in jail.  The second-to-third-offense connection is harsher for 10 years; if you are convicted of a third DUI before that time runs, it is a mandatory 30-day jail sentence.

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