Felony DUI is a serious charge. In Florida, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) may be charged as a felony in the case of certain factors, such as the bodily injury or death of another. Multiple DUIs can also lead to felony charges.
If you or someone you love is facing felony DUI charges in Florida, reach out to our team at Ali & Blankner right away. You or your loved one could be sentenced to years in prison and be made to pay thousands of dollars in fines. A felony DUI will also lead to the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, often for several months to years.
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
When Is a DUI Charged as a Felony in Florida?
While most first-time DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, the presence of certain factors may elevate charges up to a felony.
There are four main instances in which DUIs are charged as felonies in Florida:
- DUI Involving Serious Injury: If someone causes an accident while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs that results in serious bodily injury to another, they will be charged with felony DUI.
- DUI Vehicular Manslaughter: DUI vehicular manslaughter, also known as vehicular homicide, occurs when an individual causes the death of another while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Third DUI in 10 Years: If an individual is arrested for a third DUI, and it has been 10 years or less since a prior conviction, they will be charged with felony DUI.
- Fourth or Subsequent DUI: A fourth or subsequent DUI will be charged as a felony DUI in Florida, no matter how much time has passed since a prior conviction.
Felony DUIs come with harsher penalties than misdemeanor DUIs. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that you reach out to an experienced and aggressive attorney who can defend your rights and help you work to avoid serious criminal and administrative consequences that can affect nearly every aspect of your life.
Felony DUIs Involving Bodily Injury & Death
When a person operates a car, truck, or motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the chances of causing an accident increase dramatically. In the state of Florida, a drunk or intoxicated driver who causes personal injury faces a first-degree misdemeanor charge at a minimum. When a driver causes serious bodily injury to another, however, the charge becomes a felony.
A driver who causes serious or fatal injury will face harsh legal penalties. In addition to DUI penalties, he or she will be liable for any property damage, personal injury, and, in the case of the death of another, vehicular manslaughter. After being charged with drunk driving and causing serious personal or fatal injury to another, it is critical to consult an experienced attorney who can look at the circumstances and build a strong defense on your behalf.
When you are allegedly responsible for an accident due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you potentially face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. The penalties for these charges depend on the factors involved.
Below is a high-level overview of potential felony DUI penalties in Florida:
- DUI with Personal Injury: When a drunk driving accident causes serious bodily injury to another, an offender can be punished with up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Vehicular Homicide: When a crash causes fatal injury as a result of a driver being intoxicated, an offender may be charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter. This is a second-degree felony and may result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. In some cases, there may be a four-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
- DUI and Drugs: Like driving under the influence of alcohol, this action can result in a felony charge when serious bodily injury or fatal injury results from an accident. When this charge is proved, a driver will face the same penalties.
- Multiple DUI: A multiple DUI allegation can result in a felony charge on the third offense within 10 years, or fourth or subsequent DUI convictions at any time, and when severe bodily injury or death results from an accident.
In addition to prison time and thousands of dollars in fines, your driver’s license will also be revoked as soon as you are arrested for DUI. You only have 10 days to request a hearing to reinstate your license.
It is crucial that you act quickly in contacting an attorney at our firm for help with your case.
At Ali & Blankner, our Orlando felony DUI defense attorneys have more than 85 years of combined legal experience and have handled well over 100,000 criminal cases throughout Florida. We are known for our aggressive approach and our ability to develop powerful, innovative defense strategies customized to the unique circumstances of each individual case. As your legal team, we will be there to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have throughout the legal process.
Not only is it possible to fight back against felony DUI charges, but it is also your right. We urge you to contact our Orlando felony DUI defense attorneys as soon as possible to learn how we can help you protect your future. We offer free and confidential consultations, as well as payment plans and Spanish-language services.
Do not wait! Reach out to our firm today to set up a completely free and confidential case evaluation with a member of our team. Hablamos español.
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