Jacksonville Felony DUI Attorney
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A wide variety of factors can determine whether your DUI is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. On the same hand, the severity of your penalty also can be influenced by a broad spectrum of circumstances. Your number of previous offenses, the level of your blood alcohol ratio when you took a breath test and whether or not you injured any individuals while driving intoxicated can all affect the charges brought against you and the sentence you receive if convicted. A felony DUI charge has much more extreme repercussions than a misdemeanor DUI. With the threat of facing felony charges in court hanging over your head, it is essential that you speak to a Jacksonville DUI attorney without delay. A skilled attorney can greatly increase your chances of receiving a more favorable ruling in your case.
If you have been charged with multiple DUIs then your DUI may be considered a felony DUI. Even if the circumstances of your current DUI seem minor, the severity doesn't matter as much as the quantity of offenses on your record matter. A DUI can also be considered a felony if you were the cause of the death of another. Drinking and driving often leads to serious injury, but in many tragic cases it can lead to death. If your DUI resulted in the death of another then you were likely charged with vehicular manslaughter, also called homicide DUI. Some hit-and-run accidents may also be considered felony DUI. If you left the scene of the accident you are likely facing more serious penalties then you would have if you had stayed at the scene of the accident.
There is still hope after a DUI charge but you have to act fast.
It is always better to seek the help of a competent attorney who knows how to handle a DUI case. If the police officer who made your arrest is being honest with you, then you know that you are given the right to an attorney. You legally do not have to speak with an officer until you gain the help of a DUI defense lawyer. By speaking with a professional, they can inform you of how they will go about trying to clear your charges. There are many ways that a DUI attorney can help you, one of the main ways being trying to find the evidence surrounding your felony DUI to be faulty.
Florida Statutes §316.193(3): DUI Manslaughter
DUI manslaughter is defined under Florida Statutes §316.193(3) (2012) as someone who drives under the influence and while in operation of the vehicle either causes or contributes to the death of any human being – this includes an unborn quick child. An "unborn quick child" is defined under §782.071 as a fetus which would be capable of meaningful life outside of the womb. In most cases, this is considered a second degree felony and would be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 15 years, as well as a $10,000 fine.
There are, however, some circumstances which would result in the offense being elevated to a first degree felony. This occurs when the defendant is proven to have known that the crash occurred and failed to render aid. In these cases, punishment includes imprisonment not exceeding 30 years (in some situations resulting in life in prison), as well as a $15,000 monetary fine.
Charged for DUI with Injury?
DUI with injury is a situation that is outlined under Florida Statutes §316.193(3). Under this section of the law, it states that a defendant who is convicted of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury to another through the operation of a vehicle is guilty of a third degree felony. What exactly constitutes a serious bodily injury? This is answered in §316.1933 as any injury which would place the victim's life substantially in danger; it can also result in physical impairment or disfigurement.
In cases where serious bodily injury has occurred, there are several changes which may result in the arrest procedure. For example, once a serious bodily injury has happened, law enforcement has the right to require a blood sample from the alleged drunk driver. In some cases, reasonable force may be used in the attempt to get the defendant to submit to the blood test.
Call For a Free Consultation
In order to be convicted of a felony DUI, the prosecution must prove, beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, that not only were you intoxicated while driving your vehicle, but that you have at least two prior DUI convictions. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. have a solid history of successfully defending felony DUI cases in court. Our experienced team includes a number of former DUI prosecutors who all have decades of experience in handling DUI cases in front of a judge.
With a strong understanding of both sides of the courtroom, our attorneys can create a vigorous defense case anticipating any line of attack a prosecutor may take. Your case is not hopeless; a strong attorney on your side can dramatically increase your likelihood of receiving a lighter sentence or of having your felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges.
Call (904) 701-0591 or contact us to discover your options in a case review!
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