When people talk about DUIs, they don’t often make a distinction between the types of charges that the defendant faces. Instead, they say something like, “John got a DUI.” In everyday life, this is fine, but if you find yourself facing DUI charges, you’ll need to know what penalties you face and how they could affect your life.
The difference between the penalties of two different DUI charges, for instance, a misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI, can be extreme, both in terms of punishment and social stigma. This is one of many reasons why anyone charged with a DUI should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
An experienced DUI defense attorney in Fort Myers can help you understand the nature of the charges and develop a defense that can mitigate the fines and penalties wherever possible.
At the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A., we are experienced in the field of DUI defense, and we can handle complicated cases that involve additional charges, such a road rage, reckless driving and resisting arrest. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney from our office, Call Us At 866-949-0888 Today!
1. Misdemeanor DUI
Typically, a misdemeanor DUI applies when a driver is over the legal blood alcohol limit but has not caused large amounts of injury or property damage while drunk driving. Most often, people facing a misdemeanor DUI were stopped for driving erratically before they could harm themselves or anyone else.
These defendants face about one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Repeat offenders can still be charged with a misdemeanor, and they face higher fines and greater penalties than first-time offenders.
2. Felony DUI
Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles explains that prosecutors reserve felony charges for offenders who have been arrested for drinking and driving three times in a 10-year period, or who are facing their forth charge, regardless of the amount of time between arrests.
Drunk drivers who seriously injure another person or cause extensive amounts of property damage may also be charged with a felony. The punishments for a felony DUI increase to five years in jail and $5,000 in fines.
3. DUI Manslaughter
Any drunk driver who kills someone will face a second-degree felony and could spend 15 years in jail. The punishment for those convicted of DUI manslaughter can amplify if another crime was committed, such as fleeing the scene or resisting arrest. In some cases, judges sentence defendants to decades of jail time for a DUI manslaughter charge.
Although your case may fall under one of these categories, no two are the exact same. Depending on the circumstances that led to the charges, you may be able to fight them or seek a less severe punishment. To speak with an experienced attorney about your case, Call Us At 866-949-0888 Today!