When a DUI is No Longer a Misdemeanor
While driving under the influence itself is not a felony, there are a few instances where it can become so. In all states, without additional factors, a first-time DUI conviction will be charged as a misdemeanor. However, once drivers start incurring multiple DUI convictions or their convictions include property damage or bodily harm, the driver can begin facing felony charges.
In Florida, the following can be charged as felony DUI:
- Drivers with 3 DUI convictions within 10 years
- Drivers with 4 or more convictions in their lifetime
- Serious bodily injury was caused by DUI
- DUI manslaughter
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one third of all drivers charged with driving under the influence have at least one prior conviction. Florida has a 10 year look-back period, meaning that any DUI charges incurred in that time will be counted towards the number for multiple DUIs instead
When a driver is charged with a felony DUI, they face serious DUI penalties if convicted. Along with jail time up to 15 years, a driver can incur $10,000 in fines, and have their driver's license permanently revoked. Additional penalties will also apply, such as loss of professional licenses, community service, probation, and impoundment of their vehicle may occur.
If you or a loved one are facing felony DUI charges, you have your future at stake. Being charged with a felony is one of the most serious crimes, and aggressive legal defense is needed in order to have charges reduced or even eliminated. When you work with Parks & Braxton P.A., you know that you are working with a successful team of attorneys. Call us anytime for a free legal consultation.