Many driving offenses in the State of Florida are felonies (offenses punishable by state prison time). Some are more obvious than others but it is important to know when the act of driving can constitute a serious crime.
Obviously, DUI with serious bodily injury, a 3rd or subsequent DUI, and DUI manslaughter are all felonies.
Driving while license suspended as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) is a third-degree felony. So is a 3rd or subsequent DWLS.
Fleeing and eluding and aggravated fleeing and eluding are both felonies. Each carries a mandatory conviction (adjudication) and a one-year driver's license suspension.
DUI, reckless driving, hit and run, and fleeing and eluding are easy to avoid. However, many people don't realize that their drivers' licenses are suspended and may end up getting arrested for a felony if they don't understand their driver history. It is important to keep track of your driver's license status to avoid suspensions. Also, as far as traffic infractions are concerned, never pay a traffic ticket online as that will simply result in a conviction. Convictions for non-criminal infractions such as driving while license suspended without knowledge will lead to your five-year driver's license revocation and a designation as an HTO.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with criminal traffic offenses in Miami-Dade and Broward.