Are you facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Miami or anywhere else in Florida? If so, you may be wondering if DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida, and that is a reasonable question to ask.
In all states, DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. Across the country, and providing no one was injured or killed, a DUI is generally a misdemeanor offense, but it’s a felony for a third or fourth offense depending on the state. So, what does Florida law say? When is a multiple DUI a felony?
Florida’s DUI Laws
In Florida, the penalties for DUI depend on a few factors: 1) the blood alcohol level (BAL), 2) the number of prior DUI convictions, and 3) whether anyone was injured or killed. Providing no one was injured or killed, a Florida DUI is typically a misdemeanor for a first, second, or third offense, but a fourth offense is an automatic felony.
Under Section 316.193 (2)(b)3. of the Florida Statutes, it reads: “Any person who is [MOU1] [JB2] [JB3] [JB4] [JB5] of a fourth or subsequent violation of this section, regardless of when any prior conviction for a violation of this section occurred, commits a felony of the third degree…”
What About Florida’s Lookback Period?
Florida has what is called a “lookback period” for DUI convictions. How recent prior DUI convictions are will effect DUI sentencing. There is no lookback period for fourth DUIs. Meaning, it doesn’t matter if the third DUI conviction was 20 years prior, or 2 years prior, a fourth DUI is a felony of the third degree regardless of “when” the second DUI occurred.
Next: Are IIDs Required After a Florida DUI?
A third degree felony DUI is punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000, and by up to 5 years in prison. If you are facing felony DUI charges in Miami, I urge you to contact my firm to schedule a free consultation.