What Is a Felony DUI in Florida?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

In Florida, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol. Most DUI convictions are misdemeanor criminal offenses. However, certain aggravating factors can make a DUI a felony, a more serious criminal offense.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in Florida.

Third DUI Conviction Is a Felony

Generally, a first or second DUI conviction is a misdemeanor in Florida. But if you have two or more priors and one was within the past ten years, the current offense can be charged as a third-degree felony. A conviction carries up to five years in prison and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

DUIs involving serious injuries or deaths are typically felony offenses. Causing serious injuries to another person while driving under the influence can be charged as a third-degree felony. A conviction carries up to five years in prison and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. And, if a DUI offender causes an accident where someone is killed, he or she will be looking at second-degree felony charges for DUI manslaughter. Second-degree felonies carry up to 15 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.

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