Most driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in California will constitute a misdemeanor criminal offense. There are circumstances, however, that can escalate this common charge to a felony, bringing with it increases penalties and higher stakes.
There are three distinct ways in California law that a DUI can constitute a felony:
- Injury or Death - When an intoxicated motorist’s driving causes a car accident that leads to the serious injury or death of another person, the DUI will be charged as a felony. Establishing liability in such cases is critical for the validity of the charges.
- Fourth-Time DUI - California has a lookback period of 10 years for DUI convictions, meaning a DUI will stay active on your record for 10 years. If you are arrested for a DUI for the fourth-time within 10 years, it will automatically be charged as a felony, regardless of the circumstances of your previous DUI convictions.
- Prior Felony DUI - Any prior felony DUI on your driving record, even if it exists outside California’s active lookback period, will cause your next DUI to be a felony no matter what the details of your arrest may be.
Contact the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. today and talk to our Santa Rosa felony DUI attorney about what you should do next.
Penalties for Felony DUIs
California legislation penalizes felony DUI offenders quite harshly. The maximum penalties are frequently used in convictions, offering little leeway. If you want to avoid being hit with the full force of the law, you should allow our Santa Rosa felony DUI lawyers to stand between you and the judge’s gavel.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you could face punishment in the form of:
- Up to $18,000 in fines and assessment fees
- Up to 16 months in state prison
- 90-day impoundment of vehicle (with additional fees)
- Four-year revocation of driver’s license (will require fees to reinstate)
- Mandatory 30-month alcoholism treatment and prevention program
If your felony DUI charge involves the injury or death of another motorist, you must be aware that your conviction could also compound with penalties related to vehicular manslaughter and any other criminal charges.
Fight Your Felony DUI Charges – Call (707) 418-5352
So much of your future wellbeing is on the line when you have been charged with a felony DUI, you cannot possibly leave it up to chance. Secure the professional defense services of our Santa Rosa felony DUI attorney and start to take control of this pressing situation. With our firm’s assistance and legal counsel, you could have your charges reduced to a misdemeanor or dismissed entirely. No matter the force of the opposition, we do not rest until a satisfactory conclusion is met.
Get answers from a Sonoma County felony DUI lawyer during a free case evaluation!
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