4 Reasons a DUI Would be Charged as a Felony

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in California. If convicted, you may face significant fines, jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in California is .08%. That means you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is .08% or higher.

There are many reasons a DUI would be charged as a felony. One reason is that a DUI can be charged as a felony if it is the fourth offense within ten years. Additionally, if someone is injured or killed due to a DUI, the charge can be elevated to a felony. Finally, if someone is caught driving with a suspended license after a DUI, that can lead to a felony charge.

A felony DUI conviction can impact your ability to find employment or obtain housing. Keep reading to learn more about when a DUI may be charged as a felony. If you are facing a felony DUI charge, it is crucial to seek legal counsel immediately.

What is a felony DUI?

A felony DUI in California is a DUI offense that is charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Felony DUIs can be charged when a person has been convicted of multiple DUIs, or when a DUI has resulted in severe injury or death. A felony DUI is a serious offense in California.

If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you could face up to five years in prison, and you may be required to pay up to $1,000 in fines,” says Matt Cohen, Los Angeles criminal lawyer from The Perlman & Cohen law firm.

You may also lose your driver’s license for up to ten years. Those charged with felony DUI causing death may face life in prison.

Reasons your DUI could be charged as a felony:

You may get felony charges for the following DUI cases.

Reason #1: DUI causing injury and death

The first type is a DUI which results in death or serious bodily injury. DUI causing injury (23153 VC) is also known as the wobbler offense. This severe crime can result in years in prison and high fines. DUI-causing death may be categorized as second-degree murder.

Attorney Matthew Cohen, from The Perlman & Cohen law firm, says, “The percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in California was 26.3 of the total fatalities on the road. In the case of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities under 21, the state was at 25.8%.

Reason #2: Property damages 

The second type of felony DUI is a DUI that results in property damage. This can be anything from hitting a parked car to causing a multi-car pileup. This type of DUI can also result in jail time and high fines.

Reason #3: DUI with child endangerment (273a pc)

This type of felony DUI is a DUI that results in a minor in the car. This severe offense can result in jail time and high fines. Can you lose custody of your child due to 2nd DUI? Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys Matthew Cohen and Daniel Perlman offer a 1-hour of free consultation for anyone facing DUI charges in southern California.

Reason #4: Fourth DUI within ten years 

An aggravated DUI is the most serious charge and is typically reserved for cases where the driver has a high blood alcohol content (BAC) or is driving recklessly. A DUI with priors is a charge given to drivers who have been convicted of DUI in the past. Besides, once you have been convicted of a felony DUI, your subsequent DUI will be a felony by default.

What is considered a felony DUI in California?

In California, a felony DUI is typically charged when a driver has been convicted of DUI four or more times or when a DUI results in serious injury or death. A felony DUI can be punishable by up to five years in prison.

A driver may also face charges in addition to DUI, such as hit and run or vehicular manslaughter. If you are facing a DUI charge, it is crucial to speak with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you understand the charges and potential penalties you are facing.

Is a 2nd DUI a felony in California?

No, a second DUI is not a felony in California. However, it’s a serious misdemeanor that can result in up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a license suspension if you are convicted of a second DUI within ten years of your first conviction.

You’ll also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. You may face even harsher penalties if you cause an accident that results in injuries or death.

Is a 4th DUI a felony in California?

A DUI is a severe offense in California, and a fourth DUI conviction is a felony. If you’re convicted of a fourth DUI, you may face up to sixteen years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and the revocation of your driver’s license for up to five years.

In addition, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. You may also be sent to 30 months of DUI school. In case of multiple DUI convictions, you may have to pay a $1,000 fine and face three years in California state prison. Moreover, you may have to attend 30 months of DUI school and get four years of driver’s license suspension.

Does California felony DUI require jail time?

Yes, a felony DUI in California does require jail time. The amount of time will vary depending on the offense, but it can be anywhere from 180 days to 16 months in state prison. Some aggravating factors can increase the required time, such as causing an accident or high blood alcohol content.

How long does a felony DUI stay on your record in California?

If you’re wondering what happens if you lose a DUI trial, a DUI conviction can stay on your record in California for up to 10 years. However, the length of time that a DUI stays on your record will depend on the severity of the offense and whether you have any prior DUI convictions.

If you are convicted of a felony DUI, your record will reflect this for the rest of your life. Fortunately, a DUI conviction does not appear on the driving record for most background checks.

Hire Professional Attorney for DUI Charges

Now you know how a DUI may be charged as a felony, but what’s the life after DUI? A DUI would typically be charged as a felony if it resulted in serious injury or death. Several factors can contribute to this, including the level of intoxication, the age of the driver, and the severity of the injuries.

DUI charges can be serious business in California. In the past year, 72.7% of drivers arrested for felony DUI were convicted, implying how common it is. If you are facing DUI charges, hiring a professional attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights is crucial.

The Perlman & Cohen law firm has two experienced DUI attorneys. They’ll help you fight for your rights and obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Daniel Perlman and Matthew Cohen will assist you in understanding the charges against you and work to get the best possible outcome in your case. Call Perlman and Cohen at (310) 299-0062 for a free consultation from one of the top-rated Los Angeles criminal justice firms.