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While the worst-case scenario for most defendants facing first time DUI charges is a sentence involving probation and fines, the same cannot be said for or those facing charges for a second time. Even with Florida’s harsh DUI laws and mandatory penalties, first time offenders are usually given the benefit of the doubt. Their lawyers can argue a one-time lapse in judgment and assure it will never happen again, and judges will often go along. Unfortunately, these arguments are not available for second-time offenders, making it extremely important to consult with an attorney before going to court. The stakes are higher for repeat offenders, which may make trial a better decision in some cases. In other cases where the evidence of guilt is strong and a plea is likely, it will take thorough planning and preparation in order to avoid jail time. Benjamin Herbst is an experienced South Florida DUI lawyer who specializes in representing second-time offenders. He is a skilled trial lawyer who has won numerous DUI jury trials, and also knows how to appeal to the state and the judge during plea negotiations. He fights for the best possible result in all second offense DUI cases, and works tirelessly to keep his clients out of jail and back to their normal lives. Benjamin represents clients in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie County, and is available 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305. He has flexible meeting hours at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices, and can travel anywhere from Miami to Port St. Lucie to meet at a convenient location. Call Benjamin today to learn how to best defend against your second DUI charges.
The mandatory penalties for second DUI conviction in Florida include a fine of between $1,000 and $2,000 and the requirement that the defendant install an interlock device on his or her car for at least 1 year. Interlock devices (commonly known as blow and go machines) are expensive, and the companies that install these devices are making a fortune around the country. Interlock device companies often offer discounts to stay competitive, and most will offer free installation or reduced monthly fees. It pays to shop around and to consult with your lawyer before choosing a company, as your potential savings could be hundreds of dollars. In addition to being expensive, interlock devices are inconvenient, embarrassing and can cause permanent damage to your car’s electrical systems. They are also prone to malfunctioning, which would prevent the car from starting. Interlock violations could result in further driving restrictions, suspensions and/or probation violations as well.
While interlock devices are a major pain, the most severe penalty for a second DUI in Florida is the mandatory sentence of 10 days in jail. Mandatory jail time will be imposed if the defendant is convicted a second time within 5 years of the prior conviction. While the judge is required to impose incarceration in this scenario, there may be alternatives to going to jail such as inpatient programs and home detention. Anyone who is convicted of a second DUI in Florida must also be placed on reporting probation, immobilize their car for 30 days and complete stricter level 2 alcohol treatment by a licensed provider.
If you have been charged with a second DUI it is important to start planning for your defense long before your case goes to court. Benjamin has successfully represented numerous repeat DUI offenders in Florida, and will fully examine the evidence provided by the state before making a determination about the best course of action. He gives thorough and honest advice, and always listens to his client’s concerns. Benjamin never tells his clients what to do, but rather works with them to come up with a plan they are most comfortable with. He has extensive jury trial experience and success arguing motions to suppress illegal stops and illegal evidence. Simply put, he never backs down from a fight if there is an argument to be made. If a plea is the best option, he makes sure all clients are as prepared as possible for sentencing, and that nothing is left on the table. If you are facing charges and want a free consultation contact South Florida second DUI lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime at (954) 543-0305.