When you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, you face a series of penalties depending on whether or not you have been arrested before. A first time arrest carries the least harsh penalties, while someone who is a repeat offender will face more serious sentencing. However, Florida has a look back period that allows a crime to be wiped from your criminal record after a set period of time.
What is the DUI look back period?
In Florida, a DUI conviction will remain on your record permanently, but will only be considered by the courts and insurance for several years afterwards. For a second DUI charge, the prosecution will look at your driving record for the five years prior. For a third arrest, your driving record for the 10 years before will be examined. If you receive no additional DUI arrests in that time, any subsequent DUI arrest will be charged as your first.
There are a few ways a DUI conviction will be permanent:
- 3 or more DUI convictions within 10 years
- 4 or more DUI convictions in your entire life
- DUI manslaughter
- DUI with serious bodily damage
Each of the above DUI charges are treated as a felony and cannot be removed from your criminal record.
The best way to avoid a DUI arrest from becoming part of your criminal record is to have the charges against you reduced or eliminated with the help of a DUI defense attorney. There are a number of defenses to any claim of DUI that skilled defense will be able to use to your advantage.