In Jacksonville, Florida, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a first-degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by a maximum of one year in the Duval County Jail. A first or second DUI in Florida is always a misdemeanor. However, a third or subsequent Florida DUI may be charged as a third-degree felony which is punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison.
As a Jacksonville DUI Attorney, I have represented many Jacksonville residents charged with Driving Under the Influence. In my DUI experience, most third and fourth DUIs are often charged as misdemeanors and not as felonies in Jacksonville. Legally, a Jacksonville prosecutor may file the DUI as a felony, but they are often willing to file the charge as misdemeanor instead. However, the more DUI charges a Jacksonville resident obtains, the more jail time a prosecutor will request. Usually, the prosecutor will not request additional jail time on a Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence charge if it is a first offense and there are no aggravating circumstances. Still, a Jacksonville DUI defendant that has a history of DUI charges may be able to avoid jail time. If a DUI defendant wants to plea bargain with the prosecutor, his Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence Attorney should present mitigation to the prosecutor to show why the State of Florida should be lenient with the DUI client. While Driving Under the Influence is a serious crime in Jacksonville, good people make mistakes and do not necessarily deserve to go to jail for this crime.