Felony vs. Misdemeanor: What is the difference?
In Florida, enhanced penalties may apply depending on the specific facts of your case. Thus, if you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, it is important to understand what, if any, enhanced penalties may apply in your case.
BAC Above .15: If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15 or higher, enhanced penalties apply in your case. Even if this is your first DUI offense, your DUI can still be enhanced.
Fortunately, if you are charged with an enhanced DUI resulting from a BAC of .15 or higher, the enhanced penalties may be avoided through negotiation with the prosecutor in your case. Thus, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI cases with enhanced penalties.
Minors in the Vehicle: Under Florida Law, a minor is anyone under the age of 18. Per Florida Statutes, enhanced penalties will apply if you were driving with minors in the car at the time you were stopped by the police. The prosecutor does not need to prove a minor was injured as a result of your DUI, rather, the only proof required for this enhancement is that a minor was present in the car at the time you were allegedly driving.
DUI Crash Involving Property Damage: Even if nobody was hurt during your DUI crash, Florida law imposes enhanced penalties for DUI’s involving either property damage or non-serious bodily injury. A DUI with property damage or non-serious bodily injury is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. A DUI without such enhancements is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.
What Are the Enhanced Penalties for a Florida DUI?
Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 316.193, the following enhanced penalties apply if your BAC was .15 or higher, or you were driving with a minor in the car at the time of your DUI stop:
- First DUI: Up to 9 months in jail, a fine of $1,000 to $2,000, and the special probation condition requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device for 6 months;
- Second DUI: Up to 12 months in jail, a fine of $2,000 to $4,000, and the special probation condition requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device for 24 months.
Looking for An Attorney Who Has Handled Thousands of Cases?
If you or someone you know is facing a DUI, it is important to contact an attorney with the skills and experience needed to aggressively defend your case. Anita McNulty Parker has handled thousands of cases and will work tirelessly towards reaching a favorable result in your case. To learn about how McNulty Parker Law, PLLC can help you, contact the firm at (727) 826-7135!
The content in this blog is for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This blog content is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship