A Jacksonville man pleaded guilty to 14 charges related to a 2014 drunken driving incident, but the state backed off the most serious charge he was facing. The man was initially charged with attempted second-degree murder for driving his vehicle at officers that were trying to speak with him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. He could have faced up to life in prison for the attempted murder charge, but also still faced three other serious felonies among the other charges. The man was accused of fleeing two separate hit-and-run crashes before ramming into a police car and going into a ditch, the newspaper reported.
The series of charges includes three felonies: aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. The aggravated battery and aggravated fleeing charges are both first-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on each count. The resisting an officer with violence charge is a third-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of five years. Among the misdemeanor charges are five counts of DUI causing property damage and three counts of leaving the scene of an accident. Police also found marijuana on the 63-year-old defendant at the time of the crash and he was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Even with just the charges the man pleaded guilty to, he was looking at up to 65 years in prison and several years in the county jail if he had been sentenced to the maximum on each of the charges. Instead, he was sentenced to a variety of different lengths of sentences on the charges, but the effective length is one year in the county jail. That is because the judge choose to run the sentences concurrently, which means he serves all of the sentences at one time. The other option for judges is to run the sentences consecutively, which means he would serve one sentence and, when that one is completed, move on to the next one and on down the line. Once the man is released from jail, he will be on probation for 10 years. If someone violates probation, he or she can then be sentenced to the maximum time on the charges he pleaded guilty to. So, in this Jacksonville DUI Case, the defendant could be looking at serious prison time if he does not stay out of trouble while on probation.