South Florida DUI Attorneys: First, Second, Third & Fourth DUI Offense Criminal DUI Defense Attorney

DUI charges in South Florida have serious consequences a Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney can help you faceBeing charged with a DUI for the first time can be quite scary because you may be uncertain about how this might affect your future. 


Facing second-time DUI charges in South Florida can be challenging, as you’ve overcome the battle once already, but a second-DUI allegation can make one feel defeated. 


Arrested for a Third DUI offense can feel hopeless - you might feel your case is impossible to win.


If you’ve been charged with a Fourth DUI, time is of the essence if you want to continue living your life with as few restrictions as possible. 


Rossen Law Firm is here to help you navigate the difficulties that come with a DUI case - whether it is your first, second, third or fourth DUI offense, we want to assure you that hope is not lost - it’s not over and there are options for you. We have your back when it comes to keeping harsh Florida DUI penalties at bay. Rest assured, we don’t ever settle for less and will fight for your freedom and liberty.


If this is your fourth DUI, it’s especially important to hire an experienced attorney right away so we can get to work making sure your DUI charge doesn’t cause any permanent effects to your life, career and family. 


What is a DUI Crime in Florida?

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. Under Florida Law, a DUI is proved by a person’s “normal faculties” being imparied or a person having an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level (impairment of normal faculties, of course, can make this more subjective). 


A DUI Offense occurs when a person is found to be in a vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance with a breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. 


The Florida Statute states a DUI offense is the illegal act of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle when under the influence of alcoholic beverages resulting in impairment to someone’s normal abilities and/or if they have a breath or blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or above. 

Actual physical control of a vehicle means a person must be physically on a motorcycle, bicycle, car, or any other vehicle and have the capability to operate it - regardless of whether or not the person is actually operating or running the vehicle at the time of an arrest.

(In fact - you even could get a DUI while sleeping in your car).


It is important that you hire an experienced defense attorney to represent your DUI charges -  The State of Florida punishes people charged DUIs very harshly - no matter if it is your first or fourth offense. The possible effects on your life, liberties and professional career are high. With the right DUI defense attorney on your side, these severe penalties can be avoided or greatly reduced.


First-Offense DUI Penalties in Florida

  • A First-Offense DUI conviction is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. A DUI second-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 6 months in jail and fines between $500 and $1,000. 
  • If you refused a breath test, your BAC was below 0.15 and there was no car crash - you’re looking at up to 6 months in jail.
  • If your BAC was above 0.15 or you had a minor in the vehicle, you’re looking at up to 9 months in jail. 
  • If there was a car crash, you’re looking at up to 12 months in jail. 

Second-Offense DUI Penalties in Florida

  • A Second DUI conviction is a second-degree misdemeanor. A DUI second-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 9 months in jail and fines between $1,000 and $2,000. There is no minimum jail time if the arrest was 5 years or more after your first DUI conviction.
  • If your second DUI arrest is within five years of your first DUI conviction, you face a minimum of 10 days in jail upon conviction of your second DUI
  • If a minor is in the vehicle or BAC is .15 or higher, the fines increase to $2,000 to $4,000.
  • If your second DUI was more than 5 years after your first DUI conviction, and if you had a BAC above 0.15 or had a minor in the car; you face up to 1 year in jail and fines increase to $2,000 to $4,000

Third-Offense DUI Penalties in Florida

  • A third DUI conviction is a second-degree misdemeanor. A DUI second-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 12 months in jail and fines between $2,000 and $5,000. 
  • If BAC was 0.15 or above, the fines increase to $4,000 to $5,000.
  • If convicted of a third DUI with a prior DUI in the last 10 years, you’re looking at a third-degree felony and 30 day minimum jail time upon conviction.
  •  A DUI third-degree felony carries consequences of up to 5 years in prison with a minimum of 30 days in jail and fines of up to $5,000. 

Fourth-Offense DUI Penalties in Florida

  • A Fourth DUI Conviction is an automatic felony. As a  third-degree felony, the penalties include a minimum $2,000 fine that can range up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
  • If convicted of a fourth DUI, it doesn’t matter how long ago prior offenses were - it will always be a felony charge. 
  • A conviction of a fourth DUI gives a person a convicted felon status.

Additional first, second, third and fourth DUI Penalties in Florida include:

  • Probation: In Florida, Judges are required to place all first DUI offenders on probation for up to 1 year. 
  • Community service: Judges can order DUI offenders to complete at least 50 hours of community service.
  • License suspension: A first-offense DUI conviction carries a license suspension ranging from 6 months to 1 year. 
  • Ignition interlock devices: In Florida, judges are not required to order ignition interlock devices for first-DUI offenses that had a blood-alcohol count of .08% at the time of their arrest, but ultimately they can decide whether or not to order an ignition interlock device for six months or more.  Second-DUI offenses get ignition interlock devices for at least 12 months. Third-DUI offenses get an ignition interlock device for at least 2 years. 
  • DUI School & Educational Programs: DUI School is mandatory for every DUI offense. DUI School is made up of classroom sessions and referral treatment. In the 12-hour level one class, a client is taught how alcohol affects driving and how to be more responsible in the future. All first offenders are sent to the level one class. The 21-hour level two class is reserved for repeat offenders and those convicted of DUI manslaughter or DUI with serious bodily injury.
  • Vehicle impoundment: First- and second- offense DUI offenders will usually have their cars impounded or immobilized for ten days. Third-offense DUI offenders will usually have their cars impounded or immobilized for 90 days.
  • “Hardship” licenses: If your license has been suspended for a DUI, you may be eligible for a “hardship” license. This allows for essential driving only to and from work, school, church, and medical appointments. People convicted of Third- and Fourth-Offense DUI charges may not be eligible for a hardship license.


Many believe that they can get away with not hiring a DUI defense attorney for their first DUI because it is their first offense. Regardless if it is your first or fourth DUI charge, it is important that you find an experienced DUI defense attorney to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Not every defense attorney or law firm has the legal experience and training necessary to defeat a South Florida DUI charge. Decisions made on your case are permanent and have long-lasting consequences. 


Rossen Law Firm has many years of experience with all types of DUI charges. We know dealing with this charge is a struggle, but with our help you can feel relieved knowing you have someone on your side to fight for you. We know how to protect your rights and provide you with a personalized and aggressive defense to your DUI case. 


If you are facing a new DUI charge, call our office today. We will begin working on your case immediately and collect all evidence that the State has against you to begin forming a plan to defeat your DUI charge.

Free DUI Criminal Defense Strategy Session In Fort Lauderdale

If you get charged with a DUI, contact an experienced DUI attorney. Don’t get tricked into believing all criminal defense attorneys know DUI law.

It is very intricate and different from criminal law. Rossen Law Firm knows how to protect your rights against your DUI charges.

We offer potential clients FREE strategy sessions so they can see for themselves how knowledgeable we are and how determined we are to defeat their DUI charge.

DUI Defenses

  • Valid Explanations for Your Appearance and Behavior: Having allergies is not a crime in the State of Florida. For some officer observations, you might be able to provide an explanation—other than intoxication—for what happened. For example, fatigue and physical disabilities can lead to poor FST performance. And bloodshot eyes can be caused by allergies and other irritants.
    • Necessity - When a person must drive to prevent a greater evil. The driver must prove that he or she had no other options and that the "greater evil" they wished to avoid was more serious than the potential harm caused by a DUI.
    • Duress - When the defendant drives in order to avoid serious injury or death, he or she is doing so under duress. For example, someone forces an intoxicated person to drive by threat of force.
    • Improper Stop -This is one of the most common arguments used by defense attorneys in DUI cases, and involves the claim that the officer lacked probable cause to make the initial traffic stop.

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