Under normal circumstances, a
DUI is a misdemeanor. However, I want to discuss three situations in which
a DUI becomes a felony.
If this is your 3rd DUI within 10 years of your last DUI conviction, or
your 4th DUI at
any point in time after your last DUI conviction, the charge becomes a third-degree
felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
For a 3rd DUI within 10 years, there is a mandatory 2-year installation
of an ignition interlock device at the accused's expense. You may
also lose your ability to drive in the State of Florida permanently.
If you are involved in a DUI where somebody is seriously injured in a traffic
crash, the DUI charge becomes a felony of the third-degree, punishable
by up to 5 years in prison.
Under Florida law, "serious bodily injury" means, "an injury
to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition
that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement,
or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member
Finally, the most serious of the DUI offenses is DUI
. This is when somebody suspected of being under the influence of alcohol
causes the death of another as a result of a traffic crash. DUI manslaughter
is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If you
leave the scene or fail to render aid, it becomes a first-degree felony,
punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Each count of DUI manslaughter carries these penalties. Therefore, if you
are in a crash where you are suspected to be impaired, and 3 people die,
you will face one count of DUI manslaughter for each person who died.
Additionally, if convicted of DUI manslaughter, there is a mandatory minimum
prison term of 4 years.
If a police officer has probable cause to believe that a car driven by
a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs has caused the death
or serious bodily injury of another person, that officer may force you
to submit to a blood test.
Miami-Dade County criminal defense practice routinely represents clients charged with DUI and DUI-related
issues. If your DUI is a felony DUI, then you need a
who is familiar with the Miami and Broward court systems. I have worked
here as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, and am prepared to represent
you or your loved one in any of the above-mentioned matters.
If your DUI charge is a felony charge, or a charge of DUI manslaughter,
call my office
to schedule a consultation.