Call A Lakeland Attorney If Arrested For Felony Driving Under the Influence - DUI In Lakeland/Tampa
Normally, the criminal charge of Driving Under the Influence is a misdemeanor. A first time DUI is punishable by up to six months in jail. However, there are a number of ways that a DUI can become a felon. A felony DUI has much harsher penalties, much longer prison sentences, and may result in the arrested driver being sentenced by the judge as a convicted felon.
DUI becomes a felony when:
1) A driver’s third DUI occurs within 10 years after a previous DUI conviction. This means that if you are arrested for a third time for DUI and were convicted of you had a 2nd DUI in the last 10 years, it is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison. If it has been more than 10 years since the last DUI conviction, it is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
2) An arrested driver’s 4th DUI is also a felony. That means is a person has been convicted 3 times of DUI, the 4th DUI is a 3rd degree felony punishable by to 5 years in Florida state prison.
3) If a DUI defendant causes serious bodily injury to another, it is also a 3rd degree felony. A 3rd degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. When the score sheet is calculated, the victim injury on the score sheet scores or adds 40 points to the score sheet total. The appellate courts have ruled that victim injury points can be scored even though personal injury is inherent in the crime of Driving Under the Influence with Serious Bodily Injury. DUI resulting in serious bodily injury is a Level 7 offense under the Sentencing Guidelines and scores 56 points. Therefore, if the driver had no prior criminal record, they would score a guideline or minimum prison sentence of:
56 + 40 = 96 points total – 28 * .75 = 51 points = 4.25 months in prison
If the defendant driver has any prior record or there are additional offenses scored, the driver could score and be sentenced to more than 5 years in Florida state prison. Finally, each person injured is counted as a separate crime and count. This means that is the alleged drunk driver struck another vehicle that had 4 people in the car and all 4 people suffered serious bodily injury, the arrested driver would be charged with 4 counts of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury.
4) If a driver causes the death of any human being or unborn quick child, it is DUI manslaughter which is a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
5) If the driver in the case of a DUI manslaughter knows (or should have known) that the crash or accident occurred, but failed to give or render aid as required to in Florida Criminal Statute 316.062 it is a 1st degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
DUI manslaughter carries a 4 year minimum mandatory Florida State Prison sentence.
In addition, it is mandated by the statute that anyone convicted of a DUI be adjudicated guilty. If your DUI charge is a felony, that means it is mandatory that the court or judge sentence the felony DUI driver so that they are a convicted felon!
Driving Under the Influence is very serious and can effect your freedom, employment, insurance rates, and whether or not you are a convicted felon. I handle all DUI cases whether it is your first time ever being arrested or if you have prior DUI arrests. Call and set an appointment so I can explain the penalties for felony DUI including the Florida Sentencing Guidelines.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS…CALL AND SET YOUR FREE CONSULTATION WITH AN EXPERIENCED LAKELAND/TAMPA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY!
Lakeland, FL (863) 838-5549
Tampa, FL (813) 789-6404