A driving under the influence (DUI) charge may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. In most cases, DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the state of California. There are certain instances, however, in which a DUI charge may be classified as a felony. Get informed to protect your rights.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony DUI Charges
Misdemeanor charges are lesser offenses than felony charges and as such, come with lesser penalties. The potential penalties for each classification of a DUI may include the following:
Misdemeanor DUI charge: Driver’s license suspension up to four months, probation up to five years, mandatory alcohol classes up to nine months, fees up to $1,000, jail time up to 12 months, and more.
Felony DUI charge: Driver’s license suspension up to four years, mandatory alcohol classes up to 18 months, mandatory Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and 18 months to 10 years in state prison depending on the severity of the offense.
In California, a driver may face felony DUI charges for the following;
Receiving a fourth DUI in 10 years
Receiving a new DUI with a previous felony DUI conviction
Receiving a DUI causing injury
Receiving a DUI causing death, also known as vehicular manslaughter
If you have been charged with a DUI in California, it’s important to understand that this is a serious offense that has the potential to change the course of your life and negatively impact your future prospects.
At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our managing attorney is one of five California attorneys who is board-certified in DUI defense, and she’s who you want on your team in this situation. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.