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Criminal Defense

Felony DUI

In the state of Florida, DUI is considered a “wobbler offense.” That means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. If you get charged with the latter, a felony DUI is a very serious charge with life-changing consequences if convicted. If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense.

What Is a Felony DUI in Florida?

Strictly speaking, any first or second DUI, as long as there are no “aggravating factors,” will be considered a misdemeanour offense. To be charged as a felony, the offending driver would have to have caused some serious bodily harm, or even death, to another person or have a prior record of DUI convictions.
There are 4 ways in which a DUI can be charged as a felony in Florida:

  • Three DUIs within 10 years: If you are convicted with 2 or more DUIs in the span of 10 years of a previous conviction, you can be charged with a felony DUI on a subsequent DUI. This will result in a fine as high as $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
  • Four DUI offenses: No matter the number of years that have passed since a previous conviction, anyone who faces a fourth DUI offense will be charged with a third degree felony and given a fine of up to $5,000 and as many as 5 years in prison.
  • If the DUI involves serious bodily injury: If serious bodily harm is brought to someone as a result of the offense, including any passengers within the car, then the offending driver will be charged with a third degree felony and punished with a fine up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison if convicted. In addition, the court may order the offender to pay the victim restitution, and cover any medical expenses, property damage or loss, rehabilitation, or lost income.
  • DUI manslaughter: When the death of a human being occurs as a result of an impaired driver, the offense of DUI manslaughter has been committed. This is a felony of the second degree, and it’s punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and as many as 15 years in prison if convicted. The offender may also have to pay restitution, as with a DUI involving serious bodily injury, however in the case of death the costs of any funeral-related expenses may also be added.

Possible Defenses to a Felony DUI

If you have been charged with a felony DUI, it’s important to bear in mind that all is not lost. It is crucial, however, that you work with an experienced DUI defense attorney in Florida as soon as you possibly can in order to help you build an effective defense.

Once your case has been investigated by your DUI defence attorney, possible defense strategies may include:

  • A lack of any credible evidence
  • Challenging the results of any field sobriety tests
  • Challenging officer procedures
  • Failure to have Miranda rights read
  • Illegal traffic stop

Contact a Felony DUI Defense Lawyer in Florida

Don’t underestimate just how serious a felony DUI conviction can be. In addition to prison time and high fines, you can face driving restrictions and a felony on your permanent record which comes with the loss of some constitutional rights and difficulty finding employment and housing. Call GMV Law Group, LLP today to schedule your consultation with an experienced Florida felony DUI defense lawyer to begin building your defense. We have English and Spanish speaking representatives standing by to help you take the next steps in protecting your legal rights.

GMV Law Group, LLP