DUI as a Felony

DUI as a Felony

Feb 09

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime, and it can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor is a less serious charge, often with less serious fines and penalties. But a felony charge can have devastating consequences, such as significant fines and jail times.

A DUI charge can be considered a felony because of a lot of factors, and these factors vary from state to state. The common factors that are taken into consideration are listed below.

Blood Alcohol Level
Different jurisdictions have different levels of tolerance towards blood alcohol level. In most states, the legal level is 0.08%. If you have 0.08% BAC and above, you may be charged with DUI. The charge can be considered a felony if your BAC level is significantly higher than what is allowed. The common threshold is at 0.16%.

Number of Offenses
How many times you have committed the offense within a specified period of years is a significant factor in determining whether the offense will be considered a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI. For example, if you have been convicted of a DUI offense for the fourth time within the last ten years, the conviction can elevate into a felony.

Injury
DUI can be elevated into a felony if the incident has caused injury. This is especially true if the injury involves a substantial risk of death, serious or permanent disfigurement, or impairment. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter whether the injured party is the drunk driver, passenger, or other innocent motorists and pedestrians. If injury is involved, the case may already be elevated into a felony.

State of License
Your license is also taken into consideration. If you have been driving under the influence of alcohol while having a suspended license, a misdemeanor DUI can turn into a felony DUI, despite the other factors that may be involved.

Getting convicted for DUI can be a challenging experience, as it has significant consequences not only in your present, but also in your future. That is why there are legal professionals out there who specialize in DUI criminal defense, such as the lawyers from Truslow & Truslow. In a way, this means that the law is not biased and is willing to hear all sides.

Though it is good news that you can defend yourself, it is still a better idea to avoid drinking and driving. Avoiding it may prevent injury and even save lives.