Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What are the penalties in FL for a DUI accident w/ serious bodily injury and DWLS ~ "Best Answer" on AVVO ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Q:     What can be the penalty be for a DUI accident with serious bodily injury and property damage while driving on a suspended license?  My grandson was charged with DUI-SBI, property damage and also with DWLS.  The other person he hit had internal injuries. Can you tell me what he could be facing in FL?  Thank you for any info.

A:   Chosen as "Best Answer" by Asker on


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Answered DUI-SBO is a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison/ DUI-Property Damage is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and DWLS- Knowingly is also a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in local jail (if it was DWLS-Unknowning then it is an infraction which does not carry any jail time).

That said, while the maximum time is usually easy to determine (in this case 7 years and a $7,000.00 in fines), the minimums are much more difficult to ascertain as they are determined by calculating the sentencing range using the sentencing guidelines (see: ), and as the sheet considers a variety of factors it is impossible to predict either the low end of the guidelines or a likely sentence without being intimately familiar with the facts and circumstances of both the case and the Defendant.

There are a variety of enhancers and mitigators which can come into play and dramatically effect the guideline range. Further the score sheet considers a variety of factors which include such matters as the offenses for which one is presently charged, prior criminal history, level of victim injury, and a variety of other potential sentencing enhancers, which all "score" certain points and then, when calculated, a sentencing range is established. In order to have a clearer idea of what one faces an experienced criminal defense attorney will have review both the case and the Defendant's personal information.

Unfortunately, without knowing the particulars of both the offense and the Defendant it is impossible to tell you what the low end will be. Further precluding a competent answer is the possibility of other non-guideline enhancers (minimum mandatory penalties, sentencing designators - like habitual, violent, career, prison release reoffender, etcetera), and various mitigators which could effect the sentence (i.e. is he a youthful offender, are there any applicable statutory mitigation available to him - see: ) which are also unknown from your question.

But, before you break out the shovel, dig the hole and begin to nail down your coffin consider that you might not enjoy viable defense(s) to your charge, affirmative or otherwise, or that there may be factual, legal, procedural or substantive mechanisms by which to attack and beat the charges in your unique case. There may be aggravators or mitigators which can effect the sentence. There are just too many factors to consider to venture an educated guess on line.

Is your grandson facing jail time? Yes... Prison time in fact. Will he get it? Maybe. Maybe not. What I can tell you is that in my opinion your odds at a favorable outcome are almost certain to increase with an experienced G-ville area criminal defense lawyer efforting toward his interests.

In the interim please take a look at my Avvo Legal Guide on sentencing in Florida. It will explain the guidelines and point system and should be helpful to giving you an understanding. For your convenience a link follows, but note that nothing supplants custom tailored advise from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Please see:

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.) 

When it comes to the subject of drinking and driving, the best advice that you are ever going to hear is:  "Don't do it!  Get a DD (Designated Driver), not a DUI".

Be smart{er than Joseph Maine}: Don't drink and drive, but, if you do, just say "NO{thing}", don't blow (in FL your 2nd subsequent refusal is a crime) and call me stat at 305-381-8686, 305-798-2220 or 1-888-SHARK-8-1.

Michael A. Haber, P.A.: Providing creative, effective and zealous criminal defense litigation services primarily in SoFlo since 1991.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"! 

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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