Drunk driving kills about 28 people each day in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in all 50 states, over one-third of all traffic fatalities in the nation involve a drunk driver.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above in Boca Raton, you could be facing severe penalties. The state of Florida does not take DUI charges lightly, and judges will often sentence offenders to the full extent of the law. Do not try to face a DUI charge without obtaining an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side.
Is a DUI in Boca Raton, Florida a Felony or Misdemeanor Charge?
Florida has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the country. Various elements can affect the degree of punishment in a Florida DUI case, including:
- Your blood or breath alcohol level at the time of the arrest
- If the DUI involved injuries or fatalities
- Prior DUI convictions
- The presence of a minor in the vehicle
- Open containers
- What you say to law enforcement at the time of the arrest
- If the driver was in an accident and failed to provide their information or render aid
Although the majority of DUI charges are misdemeanors, if your DUI is raised to a felony charge, you could be facing life-altering penalties, including a loss of civil rights. In Florida, convicted felons are not allowed to vote, own a firearm, serve on a jury, hold public office, or renew some professional licenses.
Possible Penalties for DUI Manslaughter Charges in Boca Raton, Florida
Under Florida Statute 316.193, a person is considered to be “driving under the influence” if they are in physical control of a vehicle and have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. If the driver’s actions result in the death of a human being or unborn fetus, their offense will be enhanced to a DUI manslaughter charge. DUIs that involve manslaughter are charged as either first- or second-degree felonies in Florida and are punishable by:
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to 30 years in prison, with a 4-year minimum
- Vehicle impoundment
- Driver’s license revocation
- Ignition interlock device installation
If you are facing a felony DUI charge, you could be sentenced to spending a significant part of your life behind bars, whether or not your DUI resulted in a fatality. Even after serving your time in prison, DUI offenders are subject to probation. If probation is violated, you could be sent right back to prison.
Get in Touch with a Highly Qualified Boca Raton DUI Attorney
Even a first offense DUI can lead to misdemeanor charges and six months in jail. The best way to avoid or mitigate DUI penalties in Boca Raton is to partner with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Criminal defense attorney Brian Gabriel has over 30 years of criminal defense experience in Florida and will handle your case from beginning to end.
Even if your attorney is unable to have your charges dropped, having a legal advocate on your side could potentially reduce your sentencing. When you partner with Attorney Brian Gabriel will personally handle your case. He will work diligently to fight your charges and mitigate any penalties you may be up against. To schedule a free consultation, call (561) 622-5575 or complete a contact form to discuss your legal options.