In the state of Florida, most convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol are misdemeanors. However, a misdemeanor can become a felony under certain conditions.
What penalties does the state impose on a driver who has a felony DUI?
What ranks as a third-degree felony DUI
If you have a third DUI within a 10-year period, you are looking at a third-degree felony conviction. You are also guilty of a third-degree felony if, as a drunk driver, you cause a crash resulting in serious bodily injury. Penalties for a third-degree felony are fines of up to $5,000 and/or five years in prison.
Second-degree felony DUI
You will face a second-degree felony conviction for vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter, the penalties for which include fines of up to $10,000 and/or 15 years in prison.
First-degree felony DUI
If you convicted of either DUI manslaughter or vehicular homicide and are guilty of leaving the scene of the accident, you face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 30 years in prison.
Losing your license
Another problem for a driver charged with DUI is a driver’s license revocation. For a first offense involving no bodily injury, you could lose your license for a minimum of 180 days or a maximum of 12 months. However, if bodily injury did occur, you will see your license revoked for a minimum of three years. For a second offense, you could lose your license for up to five years. Moving along to a third DUI within 10 years of your second conviction, you will lose your driving privileges for a minimum of 10 years. However, with both second and third convictions, you may qualify for a hardship license reinstatement.
A felony is a serious crime and merits serious punishment. However, it is also true that people are only human and make mistakes. If you are faced with a felony DUI, explore your legal options and enhance your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome for your case.