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10 Day Rule - Contesting the Driver's License Suspension
You have ten (10) calendar days to request a formal review hearing of the administrative suspension of your Florida driver's license after a third DUI arrest. There is never a good reason not to request the formal review hearing. However, if you have any prior DUI conviction or even a prior administrative suspension then you are not qualified for immediate reinstatement. Act quickly to obtain a 42-day permit to continue driving for hardship reasons while your Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney fights the case.
21 Day Rule - Is the 3rd DUI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
After an arrest for DUI or Drunk Driving in Sarasota or Manatee County, the State Attorney's Office will review the police reports and your prior driving record to determine whether the case should be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. In most cases, this decision is made within the first 21 days after the arrest.
THIRD SARASOTA DUI ARREST AND CONVICTION
Your third Sarasota or Manatee County DUI or Drunk Driving arrest and conviction may be either a first-degree misdemeanor or a felony. The first determining factor will be how long it has been since your last DUI or Drunk Driving arrest and conviction? Florida utilizes a ten (10) year look-back window measured from your most recent DUI conviction.
Outside 10 Years:
Under Florida law, if your third DUI or Drunk Driving conviction occurs outside ten (10) years of any prior DUI, then you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor offense. The penalties and punishments are generally the same as a first DUI except that the statutory maximum jail term is twelve (12) months and the ignition interlock device is required for two years.
Within 10 Years:
If the third DUI or Drunk Driving conviction occurs within ten (10) years of any prior DUI, then under Florida law the prosecutor has the discretion to charge the offense as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the offense is charged as a felony it is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The court must also impose a ten (10) year driver's license revocation.
If the State Prosecutor charges the DUI or Drunk Driving offense as a third DUI within 10 years as a misdemeanor, certain enhanced penalties apply: (i) Jail Time - at least 30 days and up to 364 days; (ii) Fine - at least $2,000 but up to $5,000 (with blood / breath alcohol reading of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle then the fine will not be less than $4,000); (iii) Vehicle Impoundment - impounded for ninety (90) days; (iv) Driver's License Revocation - a minimum ten (10) years revocation and not eligible for a hardship reinstatement for at least two (2) years; (v) Mandatory ignition interlock device - install the ignition interlock device for at least twenty-four (24) months; and (vi) DUI School - the court will require the driver complete DUI school as a condition of probation which includes both classroom instruction, a substance abuse evaluation, and completion of any recommended follow-up treatment.