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Felony DUI – Florida DUI Law

Under Florida DUI law, most DUI arrests will be charged as a misdemeanor. However, a number of factors may escalate the charge to a felony DUI. A felony DUI will result in more severe penalties for the driver than a misdemeanor DUI. A misdemeanor DUI should not be taken lightly – it can still result in significant penalties, if convicted. Therefore, if you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor DUI, you should contact a Tampa DUI attorney to help protect your rights and fight the charges against you.

Previous DUI Convictions

Felony DUI charges most commonly arise when the driver has prior DUI convictions. If convicted of three DUI’s within a period of 10 years, it will be a 3rd degree felony DUI for that driver. If convicted of a fourth, or subsequent DUI, the driver will also be charged with a 3rd degree felony, regardless of whether the convictions were within a 10 year period or not. Prior DUI convictions do need to have occurred in Florida, a prior DUI conviction anywhere in the U.S. can escalate the charge to a felony DUI.

Possible Penalties for a Felony DUI Conviction:

-Up to 5 years in prison

-Permanent revocation of driver’s license

-Minimum fine of $1,000, with the maximum fine being $5,000

-Possible strike under Florida’s three strikes law

-Up to 5 years of probation

-Mandatory DUI counseling

-Possible deportation if driver is a non U.S. citizen

-Community service

-Impoundment of driver’s automobile

-Interlock device placed in driver’s vehicle for a minimum of 2 years

DUI With Injury

Drunk driving that causes serious bodily injury to someone else may be a third degree felony, even if the driver has no prior DUI convictions. In order for this type of event to be considered a third degree felony, the driver must be found guilty of both (a) driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and (b) the actual cause of the accident. If the accident resulted in death, rather than just bodily injury, the driver may be convicted of manslaughter DUI. If the driver left the scene of an accident that resulted in death or injury, the penalties will likely be more severe than if the driver had remained at the scene of the accident.

Contact a Florida Felony DUI Lawyer

The DUI attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience providing competent, aggressive representation to drivers accused of both misdemeanor and felony DUI’s. If you have been arrested for DUI contact us right away to speak with a Tampa DUI attorney. Our experienced legal team can explain how the DUI process works, and develop a comprehensive legal strategy to fight the DUI charges you are facing.

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