Felony DUI

According to California State law, driving under the influence of alcohol generally is generally filed as a misdemeanor. However, some DUIs can also be filed as a felony irrespective of the amount of alcohol in the blood stream of the accused if one of the following conditions is met. These conditions are:

  • When the accused causes severe body harm or death to third parties.
    If the accident merely caused body cuts, bruises or scrapes, the prosecutor would not charge you under a felony. For you to be charged with a felony under the California DUI law the accident must have resulted to death or causes severe injury to third parties.
  • If it is the fourth or more DUI offense within a ten years’ time.
    California law treats the first three DUI offenses committed within 10 years time as a misdemeanor. If you commit four or more DUI offenses within a period of 10 years, your charges no longer fall under a misdemeanor. California State law allows the prosecutor to charge you with a felony.
  • If the accused had been convicted of a felony before.
    If the accused was convicted of a felony for a previous DUI case, all the subsequent charges are filed as a felony.
Penalties for DUI felony

Felony charges are much harsher than misdemeanor charges. The accused may:

  • Serve a jail term whose length depends on the severity of the DUI offense.
  • Have their driving license suspended for a long period of time or be completely revoked.
  • Be ordered to serve under strictly monitored felony probation.
  • Fines and fees.
  • Have to undergo extensive alcohol classes.
  • Have to undergo mandatory rehabilitation or treatment programs.
  • Be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) that detects your alcohol levels and ‘locks’ your engine.
What does the court consider when penalizing felony DUI?

The penalties in felony DUI, particularly accident DUI depend on a number of factors:

  • The nature and cause of the accident
  • The severity of the accident
  • The number of the affected of people.
  • The defendant’s criminal background.
  • The circumstances, age and cause of the prior DUI cases.
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