DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is usually considered a misdemeanor offense in Florida; however, it can also become a felony offense under aggravating circumstances. The aggravating factors can be past history of DUI convictions, or damage caused to property and life while driving under the influence.
DUI Lawyers must be knowledgeable about the effect that one or more prior DUI convictions can have on their clients case.Repeat DUI in Florida
Florida Statute 316.193 lists the aggravating circumstances where a DUI can become a felony offense, and they include:
- The accused is facing a DUI conviction for the third time, within ten years from the last two DUI convictions. Under such circumstances, the accused will be facing a third degree felony offense.
- The person is accused of DUI for the fourth or subsequent times, irrespective of the elapsed time from the last DUI conviction. This will also result in third degree felony charge.
- While driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, the person has caused serious bodily injury to another person. Serious bodily injury would mean disfigurement, impairment of an organ, or the injured is facing a higher risk of death. This too is a third degree felony charge.
- When the accused while driving under the influence causes an accident where an unborn child or person is killed, then it could result in a second or first-degree felony charge, depending on the circumstances of the case.
- If the accused while driving under the influence has caused the death of another person, and leaves the scene while knowing the accident has occurred, or refuses to give aid to the victim, or, does not provide information of the accident to the authorities, then it is a first-degree felony offense.
Speak to a Broward County DUI Attorney at The William Moore Criminal Defense Law Firm and you will be represented by an Owner of the law firm. Together we have represented some of the hardest repeat DUI offenses throughout Broward County, Miami and Palm Beach.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Drunk Driving Lawyer William R. Moore explains"Aggravating factors can actually change the way you defend your case according to our DUI Attorneys in Broward County, FL, Attacking prior convictions, recovery pro-activity, officer predisposition all come into play."Are Felony DUI's Defended by DUI Attorneys the Same as Misdemeanor Ones?
First and foremost, these charges should always be handled by Criminal Attorneys who have an appropriate level of experience in DUI cases. These cases cary mandatory jail sentences and the exposure is therefore higher. While all of the first time DUI considerations are present for the defending DUI attorney to consider, many other strategical issues arise that your defense team must respond to. Five years ago, one of our attorneys went as far as to challenge the constitutionality of sentencing a repeat DUI offender to incarceration by establishing that the Broward County jail was not properly administering necessary health care to terminally ill inmates.
Our Florida DUI defense attorneys at The William R. Moore Criminal Defense Law firm offer aggressive and skilled representation to individuals accused of driving under the influence throughout Broward County. Speak to Attorney William R. Moore about a drinking and driving defense charge you may be facing in Broward County.