When is a Felony DUI in Florida Not a Felony?

Florida, in addition to being one of the states with a lower B.A.C. of .08% and above, is also very strict on sentencing, including treatment of misdemeanor and felony classifications of DUI.

A person can be prosecuted for a Felony DUI for the following circumstances:

  • If is the DUI Driver has two prior DUI convictions, and at least one of the convictions was within 10 years of the current arrest date. This is considered a 3°Felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison. Fla. Stat.§316.193(2)(b)1.
  • If by operation of a vehicles causes or contributes to Serious Bodily Injury to another. This is considered a 3° Felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.
  • If by operation of a vehicle, causes or contributes to the Death to another. This is considered a 2° Felony punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.

Third Offense DUI

For anyone charged with a third offense DUI, not only are the facts of the current case important, but a comprehensive review of the previous DUI’s is imperative. The Tampa felony DUI attorneys at Taracks & Associates have the experience to know not just what to look for in previous records but know where to seek the correct previous records.

If both of your previous DUI convictions are older than 10 years from the date of arrest of your pending DUI, your DUI is not considered a Felony. It is still, however, a serious offense that will, in addition to other penalties, include a minimum fine of $2,000.00, carry up to a one-year driver license suspension, and up to one year in the county jail required by Fla. Stat. §316.193(3)(b)2.

If however, you do have two prior DUI convictions and at least one of them includes a conviction date within 10 years of the date of arrest of your current DUI, you are in danger of being convicted of a 3° Felony, and a prison sentence of up to 5 years is provided by law.

Because of these serious penalties, a Felony DUI based upon two prior convictions requires the prosecutor to prove that at least one of the DUI’s shows a conviction within the last 10 years, and that you either had an attorney or that you were properly told that you had the right to have an attorney, even if you could not afford one. These are sentencing document that come from the actual court that you appeared in front of whether another city, state, or even country.

These prior offenses are referred to as enhance able priors. This means that the priors form the basis for the current higher classification of your current charge. The prosecutor must have your fingerprints, your judgement and sentence, and also be able to document that your 6th Amendment Right to Counsel was protected and not violated.

This 10 year rule means that a prosecutor may not be able to use your driver’s license record to prove that you have the necessary DUI convictions for you to be convicted of Felony DUI. Often prosecutors try to rely on just driver license record to use as the basis for a Third DUI Felony, however, they actually need quite a lot more information in order to use your past DUI’s against you. When pressed, if a prosecutor is unable to produce the required documents, they will only be able to prove a misdemeanor DUI.

Get an Attorney on Your Side

If you’re facing a Felony DUI contact the experienced Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys at Taracks & Associates today for a free consultation. We will take the time discuss the facts of your case, how you were treated, and develop the appropriate strategy to protect your reputation, your freedom, and your livelihood.

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