Diving under the influence, commonly referred to as a DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated), is a serious charge that can be either classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, with the penalties exponentially increasing for a felony DUI. But when exactly does a drunk driving charge go from a simple misdemeanor to a felony?
Typically, a first time driving under the influence charge (that does not result in serious bodily injury) will be filed as a misdemeanor. However, as outlined in Section 316.193, Florida Statutes, if you are apprehended for drunk driving and have already received two prior convictions for driving under the influence within the past 10 years, you will be charged with a third degree felony. A fourth drunk driving conviction, will also result in a felony charge in the third degree, regardless of when you received any previous charges. If the DUI results in serious bodily injury to another person, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony, as it relates to a DUI conviction, can be punishable by a fine (not to exceed $5000.00) and/or five years in a Florida State Prison.
A felony DUI is a serious charge, and if you have recently been charged with DUI it is imperative that you consult with an experienced felony DUI attorney as soon as possible. If you would like to discuss your options and possible defenses as it relates to your felony charge, please contact our office at 850-681-7777 and our office staff can schedule a free consultation with one of our felony DUI lawyers at your earliest convenience.
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