Generally, first and second DUIs without aggravating factors are prosecuted as misdemeanors. To face felony charges, an impaired driver would have to cause death or serious injury to another person. If you’re facing DUI charges in Florida, consider these circumstances under which you could be convicted of a felony.
Three DUIs Within a Decade
If you’ve gotten a third DUI within ten years of a previous conviction, you will be found guilty of a third-degree felony, which carries a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $5000. DUI attorneys Jacksonville FL will tell you how the state’s laws affect your case.
A Fourth DUI
Anyone convicted of a fourth DUI, no matter how long ago a previous conviction occurred, will be found guilty of a third-degree felony, which is punishable by a five-year prison sentence and a $5000 fine.
DUIs Involving Severe Bodily Injury
If, while committing a DUI, an impaired driver causes bodily injury to someone else (including a passenger in their own vehicle), they’ll face third-degree felony charges, a $5000 fine, and a five-year prison term. Furthermore, the defendant may have to pay restitution for the victim’s medical bills, property damage, lost income, and rehabilitation expenses.
When a drunk driver causes another person’s death, they commit DUI manslaughter. This second-degree felony is punishable by a 15-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Like a case involving serious bodily injury, a defendant may have to pay restitution. Here, however, the offender would have to pay the victim’s funeral costs.
Are you or a family member facing a DUI charge? If so, you should, by now, have an idea of whether it will be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor. These convictions have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences, and your employment, housing, and auto insurance prospects may be affected. DUI attorneys Jacksonville FL will help you understand your rights and your obligations.