Is DUI a Felony in Florida? Unpacking the Legal Realities

Is DUI a Felony in Florida? Unpacking the Legal Realities

In Florida, facing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge can have significant legal and personal consequences. Understanding the nature of these charges, whether first, second, or subsequent offenses, is crucial for anyone navigating this challenging situation.

Misdemeanor DUI in Florida: First and Second Offenses

Generally, first and second DUI offenses in Florida are categorized as misdemeanors. The penalties for a misdemeanor DUI depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of arrest. If your BAC is between .08 and .14, you could face fines up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, a maximum one-year license suspension, probation, community service, and mandatory attendance at a DUI school. However, if your BAC is .14 or higher, expect more severe penalties.

Felony DUI: Third Offense and Serious Incidents

A third DUI charge within a decade, or any DUI resulting in injury or death, escalates to a felony in Florida. The gravest of DUI offenses, a felony DUI, can lead to a 15-year prison term and fines up to $10,000.

If you’re dealing with DUI charges in Florida, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal advice. Rossen Law Firm offers free consultations, with expert South Florida DUI lawyers available 24/7 to assist you.

Long-Term Impacts of a DUI Conviction

The consequences of a DUI conviction, whether misdemeanor or felony, extend beyond immediate legal penalties. These long-term repercussions can affect various aspects of your life:

  • Employment: A DUI conviction, particularly a felony, can hinder job prospects and retention due to background checks by employers.
  • Driving Privileges: Post-conviction, you might face revoked or suspended driving privileges, alongside conditions like ignition interlock devices.
  • Insurance Rates: Your auto insurance rates may increase substantially, and finding a new insurer could become challenging.
  • Professional Licensing: Those in licensed professions may encounter obstacles in license renewal or new applications.
  • Social Implications: A DUI conviction can lead to strained personal relationships and altered community perception.
  • Educational Opportunities: Students may find their scholarship, housing, or admission opportunities affected.
  • Travel Restrictions: Some countries might deny entry to individuals with a felony record, impacting travel plans.

Recognizing these extended consequences highlights the importance of an informed and strategic legal defense to protect your future.

Is DUI a Misdemeanor in Florida?

Typically, a first DUI offense in Florida is a misdemeanor, especially without aggravating factors. However, the designation as a misdemeanor should be considered. The penalties can include fines, license suspension, and possible jail time, with increasing severity for subsequent offenses.

Can a First DUI be a Felony in Florida?

In some instances, a first-time DUI in Florida may be classified as a felony, particularly if it involves serious bodily harm, death, a high BAC, or a minor in the vehicle. Felony DUIs carry harsher penalties, including longer jail time and greater fines.

Second DUI Offense in Florida

A second DUI offense in Florida can result in more severe penalties than the first offense, particularly if it occurs within five years of the first. The consequences may include:

  • Fines: For a second DUI, fines can range from $1,000 to $2,000. If the blood alcohol level (BAC) was 0.15% or higher, or if a minor was in the vehicle, fines can reach up to $4,000.
  • Jail Time: The maximum jail time for a second DUI is typically 9 months. However, if the BAC was 0.15% or higher, or a minor was present in the vehicle, the jail time can extend up to 12 months. If the second offense occurs within five years of the first, a minimum of 10 days in jail is required.
  • Driver’s License Revocation: A second DUI can result in a driver’s license revocation for a minimum of five years if it occurs within five years of the first offense. However, offenders may be eligible for a hardship license after one year.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: The offender’s vehicle may be impounded for 30 days if the second DUI occurs within five years of the first.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Installation of an ignition interlock device is required for at least one year for a second DUI.

Third DUI Offense in Florida

A third DUI offense within 10 years of a prior conviction is considered a third-degree felony in Florida, carrying even more severe penalties:

  • Fines: The fines for a third DUI can range from $2,000 to $5,000. If the BAC is 0.15% or higher or a minor is in the vehicle, the minimum fine is $4,000.
  • Jail Time: A third DUI within 10 years of a prior conviction can result in imprisonment for up to 5 years.
  • Driver’s License Revocation: A third DUI offense may lead to a driver’s license revocation for up to 10 years.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: The offender’s vehicle may be impounded for 90 days.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: The installation of an ignition interlock device is required for at least two years.

How Rossen Law Firm Can Assist in DUI Cases

Navigating between misdemeanor and felony DUI charges involves more than legal terminology; it’s about understanding their long-term impact and seeking the right legal representation. Rossen Law Firm offers comprehensive support with its extensive experience in DUI cases. Our team provides a robust defense strategy tailored to your case, ensuring the best possible outcome.

Whether you’re questioning the nature of your DUI charge or facing felony charges, Rossen Law Firm is prepared to assist. Our commitment is to deliver an aggressive defense and guide you through every step of the process. We are here for you.

Second DUI, 0.19 Breath
DUI Charge Dismissed
Federal Child Porn Possession
Mandatory Prison Time Avoided
Attempted Murder
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How We Win
Second DUI, 0.19 Breath
DUI Charge Dismissed
Federal Child Porn Possession
Mandatory Prison Time Avoided
Attempted Murder
Charges Dismissed
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kevin tabronkevin tabron
00:07 08 Sep 22
In one of the most stressful times in my life, Rossen Law Firm was there for me. Leaving no stone unturned they provided patience and knowledge in every detail of my case. I’m very thankful and proud of this law firm family and especially of my lawyer, Scott Simmons for guiding, defending and helping me in every way possible. He and this law firm family come highly recommended from personal experience!!!
Jason HigleyJason Higley
15:24 26 Aug 22
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Terry ChristopherTerry Christopher
12:32 09 May 22
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Ketiana ProvinceKetiana Province
20:27 23 Mar 22
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