How to Successfully Defend a Felony DUI in Florida

Defending a felony DUI in Florida is critical to protect your future. Felony DUIs can lead to lengthy prison sentences, followed by a lifetime of judgment and restrictions.

Please contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys immediately if you’ve been arrested for a felony DUI in Florida. There may still be a chance we can get the charges dropped or reduce your penalties.

What Is a Felony DUI in Florida?

A regular DUI is when someone drives with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.08% or more, or when drunk or intoxicated to the point that their normal faculties are impaired.

A felony DUI crime is similar to a regular DUI crime, except it occurs with aggravating factors. In Florida, all felony DUI convictions result in prison time. Felony DUIs can also be referred to as ‘aggravated DUIs’ or ‘extreme DUIs’.

Read related: What to Do if Charged with Reckless Driving in Florida?

Aggravating factors that classify a felony DUI in Florida include:

Repeat DUI Offenders

First-time DUI offenses are misdemeanors. However, if you are a repeat offender, then the court will be far less lenient. The penalties will be far more severe than your first offense.

Florida statutes state that ‘any person convicted of a third DUI offense within 10 years of the previous commits a felony of the third degree.’ A prior DUI conviction can occur out of state.

  • Third or fourth DUI in 10 years: Up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 fine.

DUI Involving Serious Bodily Injury

DUI accidents resulting in serious bodily injury to another person (including passengers of the same vehicle) will be charged with a felony of the third degree. You could also be ordered to pay restitution to victims to cover medical bills, rehabilitation, damage or loss of income.

This law is designed to cut down on drunk drivers who cause violent accidents. Please contact our criminal defense lawyers today if you have been arrested following a DUI accident.

  • Up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

DUI Involving Manslaughter

DUI accidents resulting in the death of another person are felonies of the second degree. Just like those involving injury, you may be ordered to pay restitution and funeral-related expenses.

If you have been arrested for a DUI involving a death, please contact our criminal defense lawyer immediately for a swift defense.

  • Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

How to Defend a Felony DUI in Florida

Felony DUIs in Florida are taken extremely seriously and, if convicted, are devastating. 93% of DUI arrests in Pinellas County result in convictions. Thankfully, our DUI defense attorneys can help.

As award-winning criminal defense attorneys, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. We have extensive resources and experience to take action fast. Our strong standing and reputation with judges and prosecutors mean we are in the best position to either get your charges dropped or your penalties reduced.

Even if you know you are guilty, we can fight to minimize the prison time you could face, so you can move on as quickly as possible.

Please contact us today for a free consultation.

Possible Felony DUI Defenses

Unlawful Stop

Police officers are only allowed to stop you if:

  • There is reasonable suspicion you’re committed or have committed a traffic infraction.
  • They have probable cause that you’re committing or have committed a crime.

If you were stopped unlawfully and charged with a repeat DUI offense, we may be able to get your case dropped. The prosecutor must prove why you were stopped.

Breathalyzer Result

Breathalyzer tests that measure your BAC level must be performed under strict regulations. If the apparatus was damaged or used incorrectly, we can potentially get your breath test results thrown out.

Read related: Are DUI tests always accurate?

Field Sobriety Test

Similarly, a field sobriety test can be used to prove you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, there are defenses against these tests, such as if you have a physical impairment or the officer wasn’t qualified to perform the test.

Reduced Charges

If the evidence is stacked against you, we can still work to minimize the impact this mistake will have on your life. For example, was the other driver complicit at all in the accident? Were you barely over the BAC limit? Can we show that you’ve taken steps to correct your behavior?

These are just a few examples of common routes to reduced charges.

Felony DUI Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL

Contact our DUI defense attorneys today if you’ve been arrested for a DUI felony in Florida. With considerable experience, reputation and resources, we can fight fast and aggressively to protect your future.

Free Consultations

Our criminal defense attorneys in Pinellas County at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with over 60 years of experience. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.

Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300