While many driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in Florida result in misdemeanor criminal charges, certain drunk driving crimes can lead to a person being charged with a felony offense. In such cases, convictions can have much bigger immediate and long-term consequences for alleged offenders.
DUI is usually a felony offense when an alleged either offender has two or more previous drunk driving convictions or was involved in an accident that injured or killed another person. People convicted of these crimes not only face lengthy prison sentences and significant fines, but they can also lose their driver’s licenses and experience numerous other hardships as the result of being a convicted felon.Lawyer for Felony DUI Arrests in Broward County, FL
If you were arrested for any kind of alleged felony DUI offense in Broward County, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients arrested for drunk driving in communities throughout South Florida, including Dania Beach, Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Margate, and several other nearby communities.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 today.
Fort Lauderdale Felony DUI Information Center
- When is a DUI crime usually a felony offense?
- What are the consequences of convictions for these crimes?
- Where can I learn more about felony DUI in Broward County?
Felony DUI Charges in Florida
DUI typically becomes a felony offense when an alleged offender has been accused of any of the following crimes:
Third DUI within 10 years
When a person has two prior DUI convictions (including drunk driving violations in other states), a DUI arrest that occurs within 10 years of a prior arrest can lead to the individual being charged with a third-degree felony.
Most fourth or subsequent DUI arrests are third-degree felony offenses. Alleged offenders may be able to submit affidavits that preclude the prosecutor from using prior misdemeanor convictions to support a felony DUI conviction if the alleged offense involved was punishable by imprisonment, the alleged offender was indigent and, thus, entitled to court-appointed counsel, counsel was not appointed, and the right to counsel was not waived.
If an alleged offender commits a DUI offense and by reason of such operation, causes or contributes to causing serious bodily injury to another, the driver can be charged with a third-degree felony.
When an alleged offender commits a DUI offense and by reason of such operation, causes or contributes to causing the death of any human being or unborn quick child, DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony offense. If at the time of the crash, the alleged offender knew, or should have known, that the crash occurred and failed to give information and render aid as required by Florida Statute § 316.062, DUI manslaughter becomes a first-degree felony.
Broward County Felony DUI Penalties
Any DUI offense can involve several different punishments for an alleged offender. Depending on certain factors, a felony DUI conviction will usually result in a suspension of the alleged offender’s driver’s license, a requirement to attend a DUI School, and possible require installation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on all vehicles owned or operated by the alleged offender.
Generally, the maximum sentences a court can impose for felony DUI convictions are as follows, depending on the specific classification of the alleged offense:
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000;
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; or
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 30 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
Florida Felony DUI Resources
Sober Ride | AAA DUI Justice Link — The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a nonprofit member service organization that provides roadside assistance and other services to its members. DUI Justice Link is an AAA website that is “designed to provide criminal justice professionals with easily accessible, impartial information on a wide range of impaired-driving issues related to the detection, prosecution and adjudication of drunken drivers.” On this section of the DUI Justice Link website, you can find a listing of sober/safe ride programs for every state, including multiple programs in Florida.
Drunk Driving | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — Visit this section of the NHTSA website to learn more about impaired driving. You can find the latest NHTSA reports, view crackdown results, and access resource guides. You can also learn more about IIDs and sobriety checkpoints.
Were you arrested anywhere in South Florida for an alleged felony DUI offense? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal counsel. Contact The Hoffman Firm today.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who represents individuals in Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, and many surrounding areas of Broward County. Call (954) 524-4474 or submit an online contact form to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.