How Florida turned a misdemeanor DUI into a felony

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2020 | DUI

Brennan Clancy wanted a new start in life, so he moved from the Midwest’s blustery cold to Florida’s warming sunshine. The relocation got him away from the people and places that had been a part of the drug and alcohol abuse of his youth.

What he didn’t know at the time of the move was that his 2013 misdemeanor DUI in Pennsylvania would be considered a felony DUI here in Florida.

He learned of the change in his legal status when he was searching for an apartment for his growing family and was told by the landlord that because of his felony, he would need to make a bigger deposit. Thinking it was a mistake, he called his probation officer (Clancy was given five years of probation for the DUI) and learned that his Pennsylvania misdemeanor is considered a felony here.

It suddenly became clear to him why after his move he had struggled to find a job.

According to a news article on the case, the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision allows people on probation to move to another state – but their new home gets to apply its legal standard to the person’s past crime.

As you probably know, a first DUI conviction in Florida can result in up to six months behind bars and a fine of up to $1,000.

A second drunk driving offense can mean up to nine months in jail with a fine of up to $2,000.

A third offense is considered a felony in the third degree that can mean up to five years of incarceration.

Those facing these harsh punishments should decline to speak to prosecutors and investigators until they have spoken with a Fort Myers attorney experienced in DUI defense.