Article provided by: William C. Head, PC
Does one stand guilty of a felony while driving under the influence? The first time conviction under the drunken influence does not classify as a felony. There are, however, unique situations that charge DUI as a crime. These situations are unique for different states and jurisdictions.
Most states will consider the first DUI charge a misdemeanor. The charges attract enhancement from the standard one when you have more than one account.
What factors influence the elevation of the misdemeanor to a felony?
States have different regulations for the number of convictions you can acquire before they can label your DUI a felony. Some states enhance the sentence if you have the second charge within five years. Other countries have leniency of ten years. Some states will only charge you with a criminal charge if you drive under the influence with a restricted driving license. Other similar cases involve attracting a DUI charge with the instructions to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Felony charges are possible when the drunken driver injures or kills someone. Running a stop sign is one standard setup that results in bodily harm. You will get a felony charge, whether you harm or passenger. It is less likely for you to get a felony charge if another driver hits the back of your car while you are under the influence.
Most states will automatically enhance the charge if you get a DUI arrest with a child in the vehicle. The enhancement typically applies when you have a child below 18 years old in the car.
The fastest way to get a felony charge is to get a DUI while breaking other laws. An example is driving without a valid license, with a revoke, suspension, or restriction.
Higher alcohol content results in harsher consequences in most states. You can expect the cut-off point to be 0.08% in most states.
Many states consider the refusal to take a test a felony that will subject you to higher penalties. You will immediately get a revoked license and mandatory jail time because of obstructing the law. Some states have, however, adjusted the law to limit the enhancement of charges when you refuse to take a blood or urine test.
The DUI becomes a felony when you have a conviction within a specific period. The specificity of the charge depends on the state statute.
What is the difference between a DUI misdemeanor and a DUI felony?
The misdemeanor DUI attracts far less punishment, such as one year of jail time, a fine of $1000 or less, and probation. The felony attracts a minimum of one year of jail, the possibility of parole and probation, and a fine of more than $1000.
What is your best solution?
Drunk driving laws are different in every state. It would help if you had a qualified lawyer who will work tirelessly to reduce the sentence and lessen the charge. We can help you get results such as entering an alcohol addiction program or the mandatory requirement to drive with a monitoring device, under the best conditions. Contact (404)-567-5515 for a consultation now.