What is a DUI Felony?
While a DUI is typically a misdemeanor, certain circumstances may lead to it being charged as a felony. These are often the cases where an impaired driver caused serious injury to another person or where a child under the age of 18 was in the vehicle at the time.
A felony conviction can have life-altering consequences for a defendant. These can include loss of professional licenses, difficulty in job interviews, and even loss of access to public housing or benefits.
Is a DUI a Felony?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a traffic offense, an administrative license violation, and a criminal offense. New York takes DUIs seriously.
A DUI is typically a misdemeanor but can be upgraded to a felony depending on many factors. This includes elevated blood alcohol content, prior convictions, and the circumstances of the incident.
Under the law, a DUI is generally classified as a felony if it results in serious injury to another person. This can include a broken bone, brain damage, or any other type of serious or permanent injury.
In less serious cases, a DUI may be prosecuted as a “wobbler.” This means that if the driver’s injuries are relatively minor, they could be charged as a misdemeanor.
A second DUI is usually a Class E felony, which carries up to four years in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. The minimum period of license suspension is one year for a second DUI.
A third DUI is a Class B felony, which also carries up to four years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. A fourth DUI is a Class C felony, which also carries up to seven years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
DUI Felony Charge
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in all 50 states. A DUI conviction can lead to jail time, fines, and a suspended driver’s license.
Some drunk driving crimes rise to the level of a felony charge, which means more severe penalties and mandatory jail time. This is especially true if you cause an accident that causes injury to another person.
A felony DUI is often charged if you have three previous misdemeanor DUIs within a certain period or if you kill someone while drunk. Felonies are life-changing and come with hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties, along with adverse effects on your social, professional, and financial well-being.
Many people who are convicted of DUI end up in prison for at least one year. Other consequences include hefty monetary fines, lifetime driver’s license suspension, drug and alcohol counseling/rehabilitation, the installation of an ignition interlock device, vehicle impoundment, probation, parole, sky-high insurance premiums, and a permanent criminal record.
Moreover, a DUI conviction can make it hard for you to find employment, particularly jobs that require you to drive a company vehicle. Even if you have a good job, a DUI on your record can disqualify you from getting hired.
DUI Felony Consequences
Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors and result in longer prison sentences, higher fines, and a blemished record. They also make it more difficult to get a job and prevent you from owning a firearm.
In some states, a DUI can be elevated to felony charges if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit or if you injure someone while driving under the influence. This is true even if the accident was not your fault.
The severity of the penalties for a DUI felony can be even higher if you have a prior DUI conviction. This includes a minimum jail sentence, license revocation, probation, alcohol counseling, and mandatory Ignition Interlock Device.
When you are facing a felony DUI charge, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side who can help you protect your rights. This lawyer will examine every detail of the case to determine if there is an opportunity for your defense.
For example, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to challenge the results of the breathalyzer or blood test used in the case. If they can exclude the test results, this will make your case much more favorable and allow you to avoid harsh punishments.
In addition, a criminal defense lawyer can fight for the dismissal of your case. This could be achieved by proving that you did not commit the crime or that the law was not met.
DUI Felony Defense
The first thing that you should do if you’re facing a DUI felony charge is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. This will allow you to protect your driver’s license, avoid jail time, and avoid having a criminal record.
Several defense options can be used to get your charges reduced or dismissed. These can include challenging the police’s evidence, arguing that your civil rights were violated, or claiming the results of your breath test or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests were inaccurate.
If you are charged with a DUI felony, you need an experienced attorney to defend your case. These charges can have life-altering consequences and can affect your employment, housing, and other aspects of your daily life.
A Felony DUI is more serious than a misdemeanor DUI, and you can face significant jail time, substantial fines, and other penalties. In some cases, you may even lose your professional licenses.
A skilled attorney will know how to effectively challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and can help you fight the felony charge by taking advantage of the law’s many nuances. They can also help you negotiate a plea bargain to obtain a lower charge or win your case in court.
Can A DUI Lawyer Help You?
If you have been arrested for DUI, you must consult with a professional attorney as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of avoiding serious consequences.
A competent attorney can represent you in court and may be able to help you get your charges lessened or dismissed. These attorneys will have extensive legal knowledge and years of trial experience that can make a huge difference in your case.
They will also be able to gather evidence in your favor, including DNA testing for blood alcohol levels or video surveillance footage, or witness statements. These actions can help prove your innocence and show that police failed to follow proper procedures during your arrest.
Oftentimes, these cases are resolved without a trial. Your attorney will negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to minimize the penalties that you face.
A good DUI lawyer can also help you challenge the legality of your arrest, such as if an officer improperly pulled you over or did not read you your rights before administering a breathalyzer test. This can be crucial in a DUI trial because it can expose mistakes made by the police that could lead to the dismissal of your case or more severe charges being brought against you.
If you are looking to hire a lawyer, you should look for a professional who has a reputation for handling DUI cases and obtaining favorable outcomes in trials. This is because DUI laws are complex and require a strong knowledge of the law as well as a thorough understanding of how the court system works.