What makes a DUI or DWI a felony?
Most DUI’s are misdemeanors, 1st degree misdemeanors. There are many in Florida that are categorized as 1st degree misdemeanors. It’s the most serious misdemeanor that there is. But when there is death or serious bodily injury involved as a result of driving under the influence, those crimes become felonies.
Felonies are extraordinarily serious. There have been too many cases of people we’ve represented, good people, who were driving when they shouldn’t have been because they were drinking alcohol and they weren’t smart enough, they didn’t use good enough judgement, not to drive. They didn’t call a friend or a relative or take a cab, and they kill someone. It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for the rest of your life if that happens to you. You can be looking at years in a state penitentiary.
In Florida, punishment is typically 8 years, 10 years, 12 years if you’re convicted. It’s critical that you get the best possible criminal defense attorney who understands not only the DUI laws but representing people who were charged with felonies involving driving under the influence. By the way, not only driving under the influence of alcohol, but of pills, legal or illegal. We’ve had people charged with DUI who have injured or killed people who took medication. They shouldn’t have been driving. Legally prescribed medication, who kill people.
My advice, number one, is get the best experienced lawyer you can get if you’re charged in one of these nightmarish cases, and number two, don’t drink and drive. Don’t take medication and drive if you’re not feeling alert and ready to drive carefully.