Although driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal offenses in Florida, a conviction can still carry life-changing consequences, as outlined by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. However, depending on the circumstances of the arrest, there may be a defense that requires the court to dismiss the case or get the State Attorney to drop or reduce the charges or penalties, or to dismiss the case altogether. This is where a DUI lawyer may be able to help.
It is important to note that there are several types of DUI charges, and each can come with different penalties. In fact, some offenders face felony charges due to aggravating circumstances. Please note that all DUI offenses in Florida are in fact criminal. Some may be misdemeanors and some could be felonies but all of them can result in jail time and serious, permanent adverse consequences.
The consequences of a felony conviction are much more serious than those of a misdemeanor. Prison may be a compulsory part of a felony DUI sentence. Offenders will also face steep fines and a number of other statutorily required penalties such as probation, license revocation, community service, DUI school, counseling, interlock devices, immobilization of your vehicle as well as others.
If Florida police have arrested you for driving under the influence, then contact a Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorney from Leader & Leader, PA. Michael D. Leader has received recognition by the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register for his ability and ethics marked by his AV rating.
Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a consultation. You can also see some more honors and acknowledgments of Mr. Leader’s skill and ability in the DUI arena on the firm website’s recognitions page which notes some but not all of his recognition in the area of DUI Defense.
Here are three situations that may make a DUI a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor in Florida:
- Previous Convictions for DUI
Each time a court convicts you of driving under the influence, the consequences become harsher. If you commit a third DUI within 10 years, or a fourth or subsequent DUI, then you will face a third-degree felony charge. This can come with a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
2.DUI Serious Bodily Injury
If your impaired driving (as a result of drug or alcohol intoxication) seriously injures you or another person, then you may face a felony charge. This is also a third-degree felony.
If your driver’s license was suspended for Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Level, or if your license was revoked due to a DUI offense, and police arrest you for a subsequent DUI, then you may face a third-degree felony charge.
- Vehicular Homicide and Manslaughter
DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony. A conviction may come with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison. Vehicular homicide is also a second-degree felony.
All DUI charges are serious, but a felony conviction can put you behind bars for a long time. If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, then one of your first calls should be to an experienced DUI defense lawyer that has a lot of experience and has dedicated their practice to the art of DUI defense and not just a criminal defense lawyer that happens to handle DUI cases from time to time.
As a Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorney, Michael D. Leader can evaluate your charges and aggressively defend your rights to help protect you from the unthinkable. Call Leader & Leader, PA at 954-523-2020 to schedule a consultation.