Not all instances of driving under the influence are made equal. When you have been arrested for driving under the influence, there are a number of factors that affect what kind of charge will be brought against you.
DUI Is Not One Size Fits All
Any driver that has been arrested and found with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of 0.08 will be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Depending on the amount of previous DUI offenses, the driver's blood alcohol content, the length of time between offenses, the personal injuries that may have occurred, and whether there was property damage, the prosecution can choose to charge you differently.
In Florida, there are a few kinds of DUI charges the prosecution can pursue:
- First time DUI: No prior DUI arrests, and no property damage or serious bodily injury; your BAC must also be below 0.15.
- Multiple DUI: You have been convicted of at least one previous DUI.
Felony DUI: You have 3 or more DUI convictions within a 10 year period, your 4th DUI in your entire life, or injury or death occurred.
- DUI with serious bodily injury: You caused an accident and injury. This is charged as a felony if another person experienced permanent disfigurement or risks death.
- Aggravated DUI: Your BAC levels are above 0.15 or there were children in the car.
- Drug DUI: Your driving was impaired by legal or illegal drugs.
- DUI with property damage: Someone else's property was affected by your impaired driving.
- DUI manslaughter: Felony charge that results when someone is killed.
- Commercial vehicle DUI: You have a commercial driver's license and are driving with a BAC over 0.04.
- DUI under the age of 21: Any driver under the age of 21 that has consumed any amount of alcohol.
Depending on what you are charged with, the sentencing you face as a result will differ. No matter what the prosecution brings against you, consulting with a DUI defense attorney will be the best option. DUI laws are strict, and hiring an attorney experienced in the variety of cases can help you fight back.