Jail Sentences For A Tampa DUI
Tampa DUI Attorneys and Lawyers
AM I GOING TO GO BACK TO JAIL?
One of the first questions always asked by a prospective client is whether they will be returning to jail. In most cases, certainly if it is a first offense DUI, jail will not be required. There are other cases in which a jail sentence is statutorily required, such as a Felony DUI involving Serious Bodily Injury or Death or a second offense within 5 years or a felony DUI.
FIRST DUI OFFENSE:
Florida Statute 316.193 (2) (a) provides:
Any person who is convicted of a violation of [DUI] shall be punished: (2) (a) by imprisonment for not more than 6 months for a first conviction; not more than 9 months for a second conviction.
On a first time DUI, jail is always a possibility, although it is not the norm. Despite the statute stating that imprisonment can be for a period not to exceed 6 months on a first offense, it is rarely included in any negotiated plea.
SECOND DUI OFFENSE:
However, jail is a statutory requirement for second and third offenses depending on the timing of the new offense related to the prior offense. For example, on a second offense committed within 5 years of a prior conviction, Florida Statute 316.193 ((b) (6) (b) states:
“For the second conviction for an offense that occurs within a period of 5 years after the date of a prior conviction for violation of this section, the court shall order imprisonment for not less than 10 days.”
As the statute indicates, there is no waiver of this 10 day requirement – it is statutorily required. In most cases, we are able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s office to mitigate the 10 days, to the extent that we can request that the 10 days be served on weekends so our clients don’t miss work.
THIRD DUI OFFENSE:
For convictions of a third offense DUI, Florida Statute 316.193 (2) (b) (1) states that “a third violation … for an offense that occurs within 10 years after a prior conviction for a violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree is punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison. Many factors can influence the jail sentence imposed by the court. In some cases, we have represented individuals on felony DUI’s and reached a negotiated plea that involves no jail time. In other cases, we are able to negotiate the jail time to 30 days or less, depending on the character of our client, the timing of the prior offense, whether our client chose to attend a treatment facility, etc. Each felony case is very different and highly determinative of the facts involved. We recommend you call the office immediately to discuss your case.