Is it a 1st or 2nd misdemeanor when you get caught DWLS for a second time?
4 attorney answers
He can be charged as a first if he has a prior conviction. He may have been smart and gotten a lawyer for his first one and had it dismissed. You should always consult a lawyer if you find yourself with a traffic offense, especially a criminal one.
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If he is incorrectly charged with a 2nd when it should be a 1st then he should thank his lucky stars that the error is in his favor.
That said he should not have a 2nd, and he better not get a 3rd because the 4th is a felony waiting to happen.
Your friend should not discount the fact that his DWLS can become a significantly bigger problem. In Fl you can be designated a "HTO" (habitual traffic offender) for racking up 3 DWLS's, and, once "habitualized" you not only earn a five (5) year driver license revocation but your next one (your fourth - 4th) subjects you to felony prosecution and five (5) years in state prison.
My advise: Your friend should hire an experienced 954, FL area criminal defense or seasoned traffic defense lawyer to assist him in reinstating his DL. If he does not know a lawyer, and if he does not have anyone who can make a personal referral, then he should use the "Find a Lawyer" feature on AVVO to locate one, make an appointment, show up on time, bring whatever evidence, documents or witnesses that he may have, engage in a meaningful face-to-face consultation and get himself some advise which is legally sound and has been custom tailored as possible to meet his specific reasonable needs in his unique case.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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The record could be incorrect. There could have been a deal done. Maybe he wasn't convicted the first time. There are lots of reasons this could be the way it is, but, if you are a friend of the defendant, why would you want it to be a first degree?
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Have to have had a conviction for the first case to upgrade the second. Makes little difference if its a first or second degree misdemeanor though unless someone has a really bad record