It is not your second "conviction". The criminal courts will treat this as your first DUI. The impact panel you are referring is how Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is considering your status. If the 2007 case resulted in a finding by DHSMV that you refused to blow or blew over .08. The criminal disposition and civil disposition can have different outcomes.
I don't practice in Florida so I'm not sure if there are any mandatory sentencing requirements for a second offense. If that is the case, then your prior probably would not count as a DUI conviction.
While your first case did not end in a DUI conviction, the judge on your new case may unofficially consider your previous offense in deciding how lenient to be in your new case. If there is a range of sentences that they can impose on a first offense, the prior will likely result in a sentence further away from the minimum.
Given these circumstances, you should certainly consult with local DUI defense counsel to determine how best to defend your case.
Best of luck.
When you take the DUI Counter Attack School, they will probably treat this DUI as a 2nd, and require that you attend and complete Level 2 rather than Level 1. When you go to court, the prosecutor and Judge will be aware of the fact that this is your second "arrest" for DUI, and your punishment may be greater than a person that has been arrested for DUI "for the first time". Sometimes it's difficult to get a 2nd arrest reduced to a reckless driving, but not impossible by any means.
To get this 2nd arrest reduced or even dismissed, you should hire a local DUI attorney and discuss whether or not the officer had probable cause to stop your car, whether the breath machine results are admissible in your local courts, whether or not your case is good for a jury trial. DUI's are complex litigation cases, contact a local expert asap.
John Guidry, Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney
There is a defense lawyer I used to work with in Stuart. His name is Mario Theodore.
email@example.com. He is cool guy and a good attorney. Tell him Mr. Misdemeanor sent you. You don't have to hire him, but you should at least check him out. He is honest. Many defense attorneys do too much promising, which we are not supposed to be doing.
Please click on the website, it does not cost anything. Thank you.
The above advice is correct. You are considfered a 1st time offender for purposes of any mandatory jail time, fines, and suspensions - so far as the courts are concerned. There is no mandatory jail ( as there would be a mandatory 10 days if this was a 2nd). While this is technically your first DUI, please understand however that depending on the sentencing judge, the 2007 offense may cause the judge to consider jail time anyway.
As opposed to the courts, the DMV will deal with you according to their guidelines, especially concerning whether there was a refusal in one or more of your cases.
If you have retasined counsel, please discuss these issues with assume you have retained counsel, but if not, feel free to give me a call at 727-822-3700. I have practiced criminal law in Pinellas county for 27 years.
Robert E. Heyman, Esq
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