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Felony DUI

Driving while intoxicated is normally charged as a misdemeanor in the state of Florida. However, there are certain circumstances that can elevate a DUI charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. Having multiple prior DUI convictions or causing serious injury and/or death due to DUI could result in a charge enhancement from the District Attorney’s office. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony DUI offense, it’s within your best interest to secure legal representation as soon as possible. A felony DUI conviction could alter your life indefinitely and hinder your ability to obtain certain jobs, housing, and professional licenses. You also could lose your driving privileges for an extended period or indeterminately depending on the facts of the case.  

Gainesville Felony DUI Attorney | Alachua County, Florida

Have you been arrested for driving under the influence? Are you facing felony charges? If so, call the experienced legal team at Galigani Law Firm. The Alachua County Felony DUI lawyers at Galigani Law Firm can assess your charges, examine the evidence, and build a formidable defense to protect your rights. Call today to learn your legal options from an experienced drunk driving attorney in Gainesville and the greater Alachua County area. 

Set up your first consultation by calling our number at (352) 375-0812. Galigani Law Firm has offices in Gainesville, but accept clients throughout the county area including Alachua, Waldo, High Springs, Archer, Hawthorne, and Micanopy.

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What is Considered a Felony DUI in Florida?

In most cases, a drunk driving offense will not result in a felony charge. Although, there are a few instances where the District Attorney’s office may file for felony charges instead of the standard misdemeanor. The only instances where you may be charged with a felony DUI in Florida are listed below.

  • It’s your third DUI conviction within the last 10 years
  • This is your fourth or subsequent DUI (no look-back period)
  • The DUI resulted in serious bodily injury to another person
  • The DUI caused or contributed to causing the death of another person or unborn child
  • The DUI caused or contributed to the death/serious bodily injury of another person and you left the scene before you can give information or aid

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Is Your Third DUI a Felony in Florida?

The state of Florida has something known as a “look-back period” or “washout period.” This is the predetermined length of time in which older DUI convictions are used to enhance a current charge. In Florida, the look-back period for a second DUI is five years. However, if it’s your third DUI offense, the look-back period is increased to ten years. If you’re convicted of a third DUI and it’s been ten years since your previous convictions, then your prior criminal history will have no standing in your sentencing.

A third DUI offense within 10 years of your prior convictions is a third-degree felony. If convicted, you may face the following consequences: 

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Probation for 5 years
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Driver license revocation for 10 years
  • Community service hours
  • Possible competition of a 21-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course
  • Completion of a psycho social evaluation and substance abuse treatment
  • Ineligibility to obtain a restricted license after two years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and any other vehicles you may own for at least 90 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that will expire within 90 days 

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Penalties for Fourth DUI Offense

There is no look-back period for your penalties if this is your fourth or subsequent DUI charge. If you’re facing your fourth or subsequent DUI charge, then you’ll automatically face a third-degree felony. You may face the following penalties if you’re charged with a fourth DUI.

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Probation for 5 years
  • Fine of up to $5,000
  • Permanent driver’s license revocation
  • No chance at a restricted license
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles
  • Mandatory community service hours
  • Required completion of a 21-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course
  • Required completion of a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment

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Is DUI with Serious Bodily Injury a Felony?

The District Attorney’s Office may enhance the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony if a person sustained a serious bodily injury due to the DUI. The term “serious bodily injury’ is defined under the Florida Statutes as physical injury that carries a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body.

Some examples of serious bodily injury include: 

  • Third-degree burns to the face
  • Amputated limbs
  • Serious internal bleeding and damage

A DUI with serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Probation for 5 years
  • Fine of up to $5,000
  • Driver’s license revocation
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles
  • Community service hours
  • Possible completion of a 21-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course
  • Possible completion of a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment

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What is the Sentence for DUI Manslaughter?

DUI manslaughter has the harshest penalties of all drunk driving crimes in Florida. If your drunk driving offense caused or contributed to the death of another person, then you will face a charge of DUI manslaughter. DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony under Florida law. Listed below are the penalties a judge may impose for a DUI manslaughter conviction. 

  • Mandatory minimum prison sentence of 124 ½ months in prison (roughly 9 years)
  • Maximum prison sentence of 15 years
  • Probation for 15 years
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Permanent driver’s license revocation
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Required completion of a DUI Substance Abuse Course
  • Required completion of a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment

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Additional Resources

Felony DUI Florida Statutes – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine and learn more about felony DUI under Florida law. Access the site to read the elements of the crime, penalties, penalty enhancements, and other traffic and alcohol-related crimes in Florida. 

How to Get Your License Back – Visit the official website for the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FLHSMV). To learn more about how you can get your license back after a felony DUI or any DUI offense, visit the link above.


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Alachua County Felony DUI Defense Lawyer | Gainesville, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony offense, call Galigani Law Firm. We have decades of combined experience we can utilize for your case. Don’t wait another moment to secure your rights and freedom and call us today. 

Call Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 to set up your first consultation in the Gainesville area. We accept clients throughout all parts of Alachua County as well including Alachua, Micanopy, Waldo, Archer, and Hawthorne.


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