• Attorney Joseph Soler

When Is A DUI A Felony Offense in Florida?

We are often asked when Driving Under The Influence is charged as a felony in Florida. A first DUI is charged as a misdemeanor, unless there was serious bodily injury or death, then it is charged as a felony offense. This is the same for a second DUI: a second DUI is charged as a misdemeanor unless there was serious bodily injury or death.


A third DUI can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on how close it was to the prior DUI:


If there are no prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years of the third DUI offense date, then the DUI is charged as a misdemeanor. If there was a conviction for a second DUI within 10 years of the third DUI offense date, then the third DUI is charged as a felony.


Please see the below graph. Also, be sure to visit the Soler & Simon Driving Under The Influence page for more information about DUI, our Sarasota law firm, and our DUI attorneys.



Misdemeanor DUI Charges


The first DUI - charged as a misdemeanor


The second DUI - charged as a misdemeanor


The third DUI - if there are no prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years, then it is charged as a misdemeanor.


Felony DUI Charges


The third DUI - if the second DUI conviction date was within 10 years of the third DUI offense date, then the third DUI is charged as a third-degree felony.


Fourth DUI and every DUI after - charged as felonies


DUI with serious bodily injury - If it is determined that there is serious bodily injury, then any DUI, including a first DUI, can be charged as a DUI with serious bodily injury, which is a felony third-degree felony.


Felony DUI Manslaughter - If the DUI involved the death of any human being or unborn child then the defendant commits DUI manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony.


First Degree Felony DUI Manslaughter - If a person is DUI and there is a crash that causes death and the person fails to give information or render aid, then the DUI is charged as a first-degree felony.

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