A DUI can become a felony if it is the third DUI conviction and the previous conviction is within 10 years. A fourth DUI conviction is also classified as a felony. A DUI involving serious bodily injury to another is a felony of the third degree regardless of whether there are any previous DUIs. Under Florida law, DUI with serious bodily injury is a third degree felony charge with a maximum penalty of 5 years in Florida State Prison.
Under the Florida Punishment Code, formerly called Sentencing Guidelines, even with no prior criminal history a DUI with serious bodily injury (SBI) will score significant points under the Punishment Code. The charge itself adds a large number to the score and also victim injury points are added for a severe injury. Under the Punishment Code, even with no prior record a person with a charge of DUI with Serious Injuries would score a minimum
of approximately 4 years in state prison.
Defenses to DUI with Serious Bodily Injury (SBI)
The most common defenses are:
Insufficient proof that a person was under the influence of alcohol to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired, or that the driver (the charged person) was not the cause of the accident and the serious bodily injury.
As with every DUI, whether misdemeanor or felony, every case is investigated thoroughly, from the stop, or accident, through procedures used by the officers, validity of methods used, equipment, and consultation with experts regarding breath, blood or urine samples, if taken.
In most DUI cases, the police officers give either a breath test or take a blood test. It is possible to challenge these tests. The machines may not be properly calibrated or you could have some underlying medical condition that caused false results. It may be possible to get charges reduced or dropped depending on the case.
Driver License Revocation for a Felony DUI Conviction
In addition to the penalties discussed above, a conviction for DUI with serious bodily injury will result in a minimum three year suspension or revocation of your Florida driver’s license. The law now states that such a suspention does not begin until after any period of incarceration, jail or prison is completed.
If you have been arrested for felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury after a car crash, contact an experienced Cearwater DUI attorney or St. Petersburg DUI defense attorney that handles felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury (SBI).
Sandefer Law Firm is experienced in handling Felony DUI cases in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, all of Pinellas County and Pasco County, as well as Plant City, Dade City, New Port Richey, all of Hillsborough County, and the state of Florida.
* Evaluation of Your DUI Case – The first thing to look at in a Florida DUI case is the stop. A law enforcement officer must have a stated legal ground to stop your vehicle.
* Other Types of DUI Accusations – Many DUI cases involve the accusation of impairment due to drug ingestion. Not only are we experienced in this area, we have access to experts including renowned chemists to review your case and offer testimony if necessary.
* DUI Manslaughter – A DUI MANSLAUGHTER occurs when there is a death of a human being caused or contributed to by a person who is driving under the influence to the extent his or her normal faculties are impaired.
* Possible Penalties for DUI – Penalties for DUI can increase if a person has any prior convictions for driving under the influence. The number of convictions, when they occurred, and even whether you were represented can have dramatic affects on your license and penalties.
* Traffic DUI Law – Arrested for a Florida Traffic DUI? In Florida, if you have been arrested for DUI and your breath test result was .08 or higher, or if you refused to take the breath test, the officer probably took your driver’s license from you.
* Florida DUI Developments – Larry Sandefer attends valuable programs locally and nationally such as “Masters of DUI”, “Blood, Breath and Tears”, as well as the National DUI Conference put on by the National College of DUI Defense