If you are charged with a third DUI in Florida within 10 years of your prior 2 convictions, you are facing a felony. The penalties for this offense are harsher than they are if your prior DUI's were more than 10 years ago, but either way, you will likely serve time in jail. Getting a lawyer is usually the only hope of reducing your penalties, and it is crucial that you contact one immediately after your arrest.
If this is your third DUI within 10 years, your car will be impounded
for 90 days. Your driver's license will be suspended for 10 years,
though you can apply for a hardship license after 2 years so that you
can drive to work or school. To get this license, you need to complete
DUI school and get a good recommendation by the Special Supervision
Services Program. An ignition interlock device is required to stay in
your car for 2 years, whether you get the hardship license or wait out
your revocation period.
A third DUI in more than 10 years results in license revocation for a minimum of 180 days or a maximum of 1 year. If, on the other hand, you received your first 2 DUIs within a 5-year period, your license will be revoked for 5 years.
Whether your license is revoked for a matter of days or years, you will need proof of completion of both an alcohol treatment program and DUI school before you can reinstate your license. You will then have to pay fees of about $200 and also show proof of liability insurance.
If your third DUI in Florida comes less than 10 years after your last
one, fines range from $2,000 to $5,000. You also have a mandatory jail
sentence of at least 30 days.
For a DUI that comes more than 10 years after the prior conviction, you face up to one year in jail with no minimum term. The fines range from $1,000 to $2,500.
Talk to a Lawyer
Your best bet is to get an attorney, especially if this is your third DUI in Florida in 10 years. You have options other than simply pleading guilty and facing the maximum punishment. In some cases, you can plea bargain down to a wet reckless conviction, which has fewer penalties than a DUI. However, you will need the help of a lawyer for a good chance at reducing your penalties using various plea options, especially for a third offense DUI.