Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Florida, and the state treats it with severe penalties to deter such behavior.
While authorities classify many DUI charges as misdemeanors, certain circumstances can elevate these charges to the level of a felony, leading to much stricter consequences.
Third DUI within 10 years
A DUI becomes a felony in Florida if a person gets a third DUI conviction within a span of 10 years from the previous one. The state of Florida treats this as a third-degree felony, resulting in a heavier penalty that includes up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and a 10-year driver’s license revocation.
Fourth or subsequent DUI
No matter the time period between the offenses, a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction in Florida automatically upgrades the charge to a felony. Penalties could include a permanent revocation of the driver’s license and up to five years in prison.
DUI causing serious bodily injury
If an individual drives under the influence and causes serious bodily injury to another person, Florida law categorizes this as a third-degree felony. The penalties for this type of felony can include up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
DUI manslaughter occurs when an individual, while driving under the influence, causes an accident that results in the death of another person. This is a second-degree felony in Florida and carries severe penalties, including a maximum of 15 years in prison and a mandatory minimum of four years.
The penalties associated with these charges are significantly more severe than those of a misdemeanor DUI charge, underscoring the serious repercussions of driving under the influence.