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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Matthews

Understanding Felony DUI Charges in Florida: Orlando Attorney for DUI


In Florida, like many other states, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. However, in certain situations, a DUI charge can escalate to a felony, resulting in even more severe consequences. Understanding the factors that can lead to a felony DUI charge and the potential ramifications is essential for anyone facing such accusations. It is important to hire an Orlando attorney for DUI as soon as possible.

Factors Elevating a DUI Charge to a Felony

  1. Multiple Offenses: One of the most common factors that can elevate a DUI charge to a felony in Florida is having previous DUI convictions on your record. A fourth or subsequent DUI offense within 10 years can be classified as a third-degree felony.

  2. Serious Bodily Injury: If a DUI-related accident results in serious bodily injury to another person, the charge can be escalated to a felony. Serious bodily injury typically refers to injuries that pose a risk of death, cause significant disfigurement, or result in the impairment of a bodily function.

  3. Death: When a DUI-related accident leads to the death of another person, the charge can be upgraded to DUI manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony. If it's proven that the driver's actions were especially reckless or grossly negligent, they may face charges of DUI manslaughter with enhanced penalties.

Consequences of Felony DUI Charges

  1. Harsher Penalties: Felony DUI convictions come with more severe penalties compared to misdemeanor DUIs. These can include significant fines, lengthy license suspensions, and mandatory prison sentences.

  2. Permanent Criminal Record: Felony convictions result in a permanent mark on your criminal record. This can affect various aspects of your life, from future employment opportunities to housing and even the right to possess firearms.

  3. Loss of Civil Rights: Convicted felons can lose certain civil rights, including the right to vote and the right to serve on a jury.

  4. Impact on Insurance: Felony DUI convictions can lead to skyrocketing insurance premiums or even the denial of coverage by some insurance providers.

  5. Ignition Interlock Devices: In many cases, individuals convicted of felony DUIs are required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. These devices require the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the car.

Protecting Your Rights and Legal Options

Facing a felony DUI charge in Florida is daunting, but it's important to remember that you have rights and legal options. A skilled DUI defense attorney can help build a strong defense strategy tailored to your case. They can challenge evidence, question the legality of the traffic stop or arrest, and explore potential procedural errors.


Understanding the factors that can elevate a DUI charge to a felony in Florida is crucial for anyone accused of this serious offense. Multiple convictions, accidents causing injuries or deaths, and the resulting legal consequences should not be taken lightly. If you find yourself facing a felony DUI charge, seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney is your best course of action. With proper legal representation, you can navigate the complex legal system, protect your rights, and work toward achieving the best possible outcome for your situation. Hire an Orlando attorney for DUI as soon as possible. If you have been charged with DUI call the office of Matthews Criminal Defense at (407) 561-8166.

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