Is a DUI a first degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida?

Asked over 4 years ago - Inverness, FL

What are the laws in the state of Florida concerning a First Degree Misdemeanor? Would a DUI count as a first degree misdemeanor?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Craig A. Epifanio

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . By case law, a first time DUI in the state of Florida is considered a first degree misdemeanor, even though (assuming no accident) it is a maximum of 6 months jail. I know of no other misdemeanor of any degree that is treated that way. So DUI is unique in Florida law for that reason.

  2. Stephen Andrew Mosca

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Mr. Epifanio makes a valid observation.

  3. Deirdre Lynn O'Connor

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Only if you damage the property or person of another. A misd in the 2st degree is punishable for up to 1 year in jail. A first time DUI with no damage to property or person has a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail.

    Relevant section of statute pasted below.

    ยง 316.193. Driving under the influence; penalties

    (1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

    (a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person's normal faculties are impaired;

    (b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

    (c) The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

    (2) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), subsection (3), or subsection (4), any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) shall be punished:

    1. By a fine of:

    a. Not less than $ 500 or more than $ 1,000 for a first conviction.

    b. Not less than $ 1,000 or more than $ 2,000 for a second conviction; and

    2. By imprisonment for:

    a. Not more than 6 months for a first conviction.

    b. Not more than 9 months for a second conviction.

    (3) Any person:

    (a) Who is in violation of subsection (1);

    (b) Who operates a vehicle; and

    (c) Who, by reason of such operation, causes or contributes to causing:

    1. Damage to the property or person of another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

  4. Deirdre Lynn O'Connor

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . just notice typo - i meant to type 1st degree - A misd in the 1st degree is punishable for up to 1 year in jail. -

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