According to a recent study, there was a 3.6% reduction in motor vehicle deaths caused by drunk drivers through the U.S.; however, this isn't true for Florida. In fact, drunk driver-related accidents are still the main hazard on roadways in this state. The NHTSA has reported that over 800 people were fatally injured in drunk driving-related accidents in 2018 in Florida, and this is a trend that has continued through 2019 and 2020.
All DUI related accidents are completely preventable; however, when they happen, they destroy many lives. Because of the devastating nature of these accidents, prosecutors in Florida take DUI offenses seriously. In fact, Florida has some of the most severe punishments for those who are convicted of committing any type of DUI-related crime. While a first-time offender can avoid lengthy jail time, this is not the case for a felony DUI or DUI manslaughter.
First and Second DUI Offenses
It is illegal to drive or control a vehicle if you are under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. The legal BAC (blood-alcohol content) limit is 0.08%, which means if your BAC is at or above this level, you are in violation of the law and will probably be arrested for DUI.
A simple first time DUI in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a first offense, you may have to pay a $1,000 file and spend up to six months in jail. For second offenses, you will face a fine of up to $2,000 and nine months in jail. A second DUI conviction is also a first-degree misdemeanor.
Aggravated Felony DUI Charges
If you are arrested for a DUI and have two prior DUI convictions on your record, you may face felony charges. For example, if you are convicted for a third DUI within 10 years of your second conviction, it becomes a third-degree felony. The felony is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail.
If you are convicted of a fourth DUI, it is a third-degree felony. For situations where your BAC is over the legal limit, and you cause an accident that results in bodily injuries to another person, you may face third-degree felony charges. All felony DUI convictions in Florida are punished with
time in prison.
DUI Manslaughter Charges
The most serious DUI charge that may occur is DUI manslaughter. This occurs if you are intoxicated and cause an accident that results in someone else's death or a child who would be viable outside the womb. In Florida, DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony and carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of four years.
Get Help with Your DUI Case
If you are charged with DUI in Florida, it is best to contact an attorney for help. Our team can provide high-quality and aggressive defense services you need and help ensure you have someone on your side, fighting for your rights.