Fort Lauderdale Repeat & Felony DUI Lawyer
The help you need when you face felony DUI charges
In Florida, a first offense DUI is a misdemeanor, and it is still punishable by up to six months in jail. So what happens if you have been charged with a repeat DUI or if your drunk-driving accident caused serious physical harm to another? Or worse still — what if the accident was fatal?
When aggravating factors elevate your DUI charge to a felony, you need legal representation from a criminal attorney, one who has experience defending against serious charges and has well-developed courtroom skills. At Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., we believe that everybody deserves a defense. And we believe in creating effective strategies that give our clients an opportunity to obtain the best possible outcome for their cases. Contact our Fort Lauderdale repeat & felony DUI lawyers today, we can help.
Felony DUI offenses and penalties
A DUI, whether drug- or alcohol-related, is a felony in Florida if:
- You are facing your third DUI arrest and conviction within ten years.
- This is your fourth DUI conviction.
- Your DUI accident caused bodily harm.
- Your DUI accident caused a death, in which case it is manslaughter.
Because of the seriousness of these offenses, you are not just going to traffic court, but are subjected instead to Florida criminal proceedings. Penalties for a felony DUI are stiff. Judicial guidelines set minimum fines and sentences for a conviction, but the court has leeway and can impose higher penalties if it feels it is warranted.
- A third DUI conviction within ten years or a fourth conviction is considered a third-degree felony. Penalties include incarceration for up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. A third conviction within ten years also includes a mandatory ignition interlock device for at least 24 months and mandatory vehicle impoundment for 90 days.
- A DUI in which you caused bodily harm is also a third-degree felony. The court can impose a prison sentence of up to five years. Also, every person injured is considered separately, so if there were two injuries, you could be facing two counts of DUI with bodily harm.
- A DUI in which a person or unborn child is killed is considered manslaughter. This is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, if the driver knew or should have known that an accident occurred and failed to provide aid to the victims, the charge becomes a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in a Florida state prison.
You are also at risk of a Florida license suspension
While a license suspension may seem like the least of your problems compared to prison terms and steep fines, consider how difficult your life would be after prison. Simple chores become complicated maneuvers requiring the use of the public transportation system or relying upon rides from friends and family. Consider this:
- Your license could be revoked for ten years following a third DUI within ten years. You may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after two years.
- For a fourth DUI conviction, your license is permanently revoked, with no chance of reinstatement, even for hardship.
- For a DUI with serious bodily injury but no prior convictions, your license is revoked for a minimum of three years.
- For a DUI murder, your license is permanently revoked.
If you have a commercial license in Florida, your license can be suspended if you are found to have a BAL (blood alcohol level) of just .04 while operating a commercial vehicle. For a second or subsequent conviction, you suffer the permanent loss of your license and are no longer able to legally operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Don’t let a felony DUI conviction ruin your life
Get the representation you need to protect your livelihood and your liberty. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please contact us or call us at 954-761-9411. Our Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyers can help.