In Jacksonville, the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance is usually a misdemeanor. It can be a felony under certain circumstances. A Jacksonville DUI is a felony if it involves death or serious bodily injury. Under these circumstances, a Jacksonville DUI criminal defendant will be facing a minimum prison sentence under the Florida Guidelines. A person arrested for DUI in Jacksonville can be charged with Felony Driving Under the Influence if he or she has 3 or more convictions for DUI.
As a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer, I have represented clients arrested for misdemeanor DUI and felony DUI and have tried several Jacksonville DUI cases. However, I have never seen a felony DUI case like this one. Billie Joe Madden avoided a DUI arrest by having someone else drive his vehicle. Still, he was arrested on felony charges. Instead of being arrested for DUI, he “was arrested and charged with two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seat belt” (News4jax.com). Police officers “said Madden told them he was intoxicated, and fell asleep while his son drove” and his 4-year-old daughter sat in the back seat.