Is a DUI in Florida a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Although the vast majority of DUI cases are charged as a misdemeanor, the answer to that question ultimately depends on a host of factors. In fact, we have counted at least 15 different ways that a DUI could be charged.

Below is a quick summary of the statutory maximum penalties allowed under Florida law for different types of DUI charges.

Different types of misdemeanor DUI charges:

  • First DUI – a misdemeanor with a maximum of 6 months in jail.
  • DUI with a child in the vehicle – a misdemeanor with a maximum of 9 months in jail.
  • DUI with a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .15 – a misdemeanor with a maximum of 9 months in jail.
  • Second DUI outside of five years – a misdemeanor with a maximum of 9 months in jail.
  • Second DUI within five years – a second DUI within five years of a prior conviction is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 9 months in jail.
    • (unless it is also proven that the BAC is over .15 or a child was in the car – then the maximum is 12 months in jail).
  • DUI with property damage (or non-serious personal injury) – a first degree misdemeanor with a maximum of 12 months in jail.
  • Third DUI outside of 10 years – a misdemeanor with a maximum of 12 months in jail.

Different types of felony DUI charges in Florida:

  • Third DUI within 10 years – a third DUI can be charged as a felony if the third DUI arrest is within 10 years of any prior DUI conviction. A third DUI within 10 years of a prior is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • Fourth or Subsequent DUI – any fourth DUI can be charged as a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • DUI with Serious Bodily Injury – a third degree felony with a maximum of five years in prison.
  • DUI Manslaughter – a second degree felony with a maximum of 15 years in prison.
  • DUI Manslaughter / Leaving the Scene – a first degree felony with a maximum of 30 years in prison.
  • Vehicular Homicide – a second degree felony with a maximum of 15 years in prison.
  • Vehicular Homicide / Leaving the Scene – a first degree felony with a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Florida DUI Penalties – Visit the website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to learn more about the statutory maximum and mandatory minimum penalties for different types of DUI charges.

One Comment

  1. Andre L. Vaughn
    Posted October 21, 2014 at 15:11 | Permalink | Reply

    Very informative…..Laws are a bit different here in St. Louis but not too different. Nice post.

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