When is a Florida DUI a Felony?
Most charges for DUI are misdemeanor charges. Felony DUI charges can be filed, however, in certain circumstances, including:
- When the current DUI is the third offense committed within 10 years of any prior conviction;
- When the current DUI is the fourth offense regardless of when the prior convictions occurred.
A felony DUI based on the number of prior convictions is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Other minimum mandatory penalties apply including a driver's license revocation, fines, DUI school. Under Florida Statute Section 316.193(12), the prosecutor will attempt to prove the prior conviction by introducing the lifetime driving records of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showing that the defendant has been previously convicted of Driving under the Influence.
Based on those records, the fact-finder may conclude that the State has established the prior Driving under the Influence convictions. However, the standard jury instructions provide that "such evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence. Accordingly, this inference may be considered along with any other evidence in deciding whether the defendant has a prior Driving under the Influence conviction."
Felony DUI Lawyer in Brooksville
If you are charged with a felony DUI, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville, Hernando County, FL. Attorney Ashley Aulls represents clients charged with both felony and misdemeanor DUI charges throughout Herando County and the surrounding areas of Inverness in Citrus County, New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, and Bushnell in Sumter County, FL.
Felony DUI Information Center in Florida
- Felony DUI Based on Death or Serious Bodily Injury
- Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
- Finding a Felony DUI Attorney in Brooksville, FL
Felony DUI charges can also be based on the harm caused by the DUI incident. For instance, the DUI can be filed as a DUI under the following circumstances:
- The DUI caused serious bodily injury to another person; or
- The DUI caused the death of another person (often called DUI manslaughter).
The criminal offense of DUI with serious bodily injury, under Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(c)(2), is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The elements of DUI with serious bodily injury that must be proven at trial by the prosecutor with the State Attorney's office beyond all reasonable doubt include:
- a person drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle;
- who was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that the person's normal faculties are impaired or has a blood or breath alcohol level of.08 or more; and
- caused or contributed to causing serious bodily injury to another person as a result of operating the vehicle.
Serious bodily injury" is defined as any injury to another individual that results in the impairment of a body part or organ, disfigurement or any substantial risk of death. Even a disfiguring scar or other types of relatively minor injuries may be considered sufficient enough for the case to be submitted to the jury.
Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of a Third Degree Felony punishable by not more than a $5,000 fine and/or 5 years in prison.
If you are charged with a felony version of DUI then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville, Hernando County, FL. Attorney Ashley Aulls represents clients charged with both felony and misdemeanor DUI charges throughout Herando County and the surrounding areas of Inverness in Citrus County, New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, and Bushnell in Sumter County, FL.