Felony DUI (Serious Bodily Injury)

South Florida Felony DUI Lawyers

A motorist faces many stiff penalties if he or she is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, but a drunk driver can face even more felony charges if he or she allegedly causes serious bodily injury to another person. The possible consequences may include not only increased fines but a much lengthier term of imprisonment with a possible mandatory minimum sentence.

The intent of the drivers in these cases is not important, as an alleged offender can be convicted even when injuries are the result of an accident. However, a prosecutor will still need to prove that a motorist was legally under the influence and that a victim suffered a serious bodily injury as a direct result of the driver’s negligence.

Palm Beach County Felony DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with causing or contributing to causing another person’s serious bodily injury because you were allegedly driving under the influence, you need to be sure to get skilled legal representation as soon as possible. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. aggressively defends clients all over Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.

Our DUI with serious bodily injury attorneys are committed to getting the most favorable outcomes possible in these cases, and we will fight to have charges significantly reduced or possibly even dismissed. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case when you call (561) 557-8686 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Florida DUI with Serious Bodily Injury Overview

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Fort Lauderdale DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Charges

Under Florida Statute § 316.193(3), a DUI involving serious bodily injury to another person is classified as a third-degree felony. An alleged offender can be charged with this crime if he or she:

  • Was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle
  • Had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, a breath-alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, or was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties were impaired
  • By reason of operation of the vehicle, caused or contributed to causing serious bodily injury to another person

Florida Statute § 316.1933 defines a serious bodily injury as meaning an injury “which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” This means that an alleged offender may be charged with this offense at a later date when certain symptoms of serious bodily injuries are not immediately apparent.

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DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Penalties in Palm Beach County

An alleged offender who is convicted of a DUI that causes or contributes to causing serious bodily injury can face any combination of the following punishments:

  • Restitution to victim
  • Community service
  • Completion of a DUI program
  • Installation of ignition interlock device on all vehicles owned or driven by alleged offender
  • Revocation of driver’s license
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Fine of up to $5,000

While the statutory maximum prison sentence for a DUI causing serious bodily injury is five years, it is important to understand that this crime is considered a Level 7 offense when a prosecutor is calculating an alleged offender’s Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet. This means that this charge carries a primary offense value of 56 points and thus makes a prison sentence mandatory. If an alleged victim’s injuries are particularly severe, it is possible that an alleged offender could face a minimum sentence of four years in prison.

Additionally, the period of time that an alleged offender’s driver’s license is suspended or revoked depends on whether he or she has been previously convicted of DUI. Under Florida Statute § 322.28(4), a person who is convicted of serious bodily injury DUI will have his or her license revoked for a minimum of three years. However, the length of revocation increases if any of the following is true about the alleged offender’s DUI causing serious bodily injury conviction:

  • Within Five Years of Any Prior DUI Conviction — License revoked for minimum of five years
  • Within 10 Years of Any Two Prior DUI Convictions — License revoked for minimum of 10 years
  • Fourth DUI Conviction — Mandatory permanent lifetime revocation

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Florida DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Defenses

The seriousness of these charges makes it critical for an alleged offender to have his or her case thoroughly investigated so ever possible defense can be explored and utilized. In these types of cases, some of the possible defenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Alleged offender was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Blood or breath tests were improperly conducted
  • Machine errors or malfunctions relating to chemical tests
  • Bodily injuries of alleged victims were not serious
  • Alleged victim’s injuries were not the result of the alleged offender’s operation of the vehicle

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Meltzer & Bell, P.A. | A DUI with Serious Bodily Injury Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

Were you arrested for a serious bodily injury DUI offense in Florida? You cannot afford to waste any time in finding legal counsel.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents clients in communities throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, and more. Call (561) 557-8686 to have our felony DUI attorneys review your case during a free, confidential consultation.

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Client Testimonials for Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Client Testimonials
  • ...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.

  • I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!

  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

  • I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!

  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

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