A man in handcuffs holds his head in his handsThe defense attorneys at Arnesen Law represent clients charged with misdemeanor and felony DUI, as well as refusal to submit to a breath test, and eluding police in Royal Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Greenacres. In fact, the firm’s founder, Jay Arnesen, devotes the entirety of his practice to criminal and DUI defense in South Florida.

Arnesen accumulated extensive knowledge of the specific components of DUI cases during his service as a former police officer. With advanced training in DUI detection, standardized field sobriety tests, and breath testing, he has developed a highly sophisticated lens through which to analyze these cases in order to formulate the best possible defense for his clients.

Arnesen Law’s Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale office locations provide the firm’s lawyers with accessibility to courts across South Florida, allowing them to represent clients charged in a wide variety of jurisdictions. Contact these skilled legal representatives anytime at 561-419-9630 to receive a free initial consultation.

As a former police officer, I used to help prosecute these charges for the State. Now, let me use my training and experience to combat these charges for you in court.” Jay Arnesen, Esq., DUI Defense Attorney

Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Florida Statutes Section 316.193

Charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida are codified in Chapter 316, Section 193 of the Florida Statutes. Unbeknownst to many, these offenses can actually result in misdemeanor or even felony charges, depending on the circumstances of the specific case.

The critical factors that determine whether misdemeanor or felony charges are brought against a defendant charged with DUI in Florida include:

  • The number of DUI offenses (if any) the person has been convicted of previously;
  • The number of years within which a person has been convicted of their second, third, fourth, or subsequent DUI (if applicable);
  • If the offense caused serious bodily injury to another person;
  • If the offense resulted in damage to the property of another individual;
  • If the offense resulted in the death of another individual or unborn child

Specifically, a DUI case involving property damage entails first degree misdemeanor charges for the defendant. As a result, the individual could be facing a maximum 1-year prison sentence and/or a fine of $1,000. Notably, Section 775.083 allows for the payment of a fine as a means by which to avoid jail time for defendants facing charges for certain crimes classified as first degree misdemeanors. DUI is among the offenses eligible for this alternative according to the statute.

On the other hand, individuals who have been charged with a third, fourth, or subsequent DUI within 10 years of a previous DUI conviction are subject to third degree felony charges. A felony is significantly more serious, as a third degree felony conviction could entail a prison sentence of up to 5 years in addition to a fine of up to $5,000. Significantly, Florida deems any previous DUI conviction, regardless of the state in which said conviction occurred, as applicable to this sentencing guideline. Further, a DUI offense resulting in the serious bodily injury of another person is also considered a third degree felony.

Lastly, a DUI offense that results in the death of another person or an “unborn child” as defined by Section 775.021(5), constitutes a second degree felony, which is punishable by a term of incarceration of up to 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. However, under Florida Law, those who drive under the influence and subsequently leave the scene of an accident during which someone is killed are guilty of a first degree felony, meaning they could be sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in addition to a $10,000 fine.

Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Potential Penalties

  • First Degree Felony DUI: maximum sentence of life 30 years in prison and fines not to exceed $10,000
  • Second Degree Felony DUI: maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $10,000
  • Third Degree Felony DUI: maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $5,000
  • First Degree Misdemeanor DUI: maximum term of 1 year in the county jail and fines not to exceed $1,000

Contact Our Palm Beach County Misdemeanor and Felony Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony as a result of an alleged Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense in South Florida, the attorneys at Arnesen Law can provide the legal resources you need to fight these charges. Contact their offices anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free consultation about your case.

Tell Us About Your Case

Jay Arnesen is a retired police officer turned criminal defense attorney who now defends clients charged with criminal and traffic (DUI) offenses in South Florida. With offices conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Mr. Arnesen appears in courts throughout South Florida on a regular basis. Protect your rights, contact experienced criminal defense lawyer Jay Arnesen anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-347-6296.

Arnesen Law, P.A.

Areas We Serve

Palm Beach County, Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach. Glen Ridge, Greenacres, Gulf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Manalapan, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach


Boca Raton

1825 NW Corporate Blvd. Suite 110

Boca Raton, FL 33431

  (201) 556-1570  

Fort Lauderdale

633 South Andrews Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

  (866) 317-5164