Orange County's DUI Queen
Our DUI Blog Stay Current With DUI Related News

Felony DUI: What You Need to Know

While most people know that a California DUI is a serious charge, many are confused about the various levels of a DUI. Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony? It depends on the facts of the case, but it can be either.

A felony DUI is most commonly seen when: 1) the driver has 3 prior DUI or “wet reckless” convictions in a 10-year period, 2) the driver has a prior felony DUI conviction, or 3) the drunk or drugged driver injured or killed someone else. In the absence of the above circumstances, most simple DUIs are misdemeanors, even when there is property damage (but no injuries).

Examining Evidence in a DUI Case

Drunk driving detection, arrest, and testing are all based on scientific studies and principles. Understanding these principles and how they apply to real world experience is the key to developing a defense to DUI charges in Orange County.

With a DUI case, there are several aspects that play upon each other; this is very different than other criminal cases that are strictly dealing with violating the law. A DUI case is built on many different pieces of evidence, such as:

  • The officer’s reason for the traffic stop
  • The DUI suspect’s behavior during the stop
  • Any footage from the officer’s body camera or dash cam
  • Field sobriety testing evidence
  • Chemical test evidence (blood, breath, or urine test)
  • The driver’s blood alcohol concentration
  • Evidence that the driver was too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle

Why Not Just Any Attorney Will Do

When you are arrested for DUI, not just any criminal defense attorney will do. This is because DUI cases are by nature, more complex than other cases. With DUI, we are dealing with scientific evidence, and your defense lawyer must have a good understanding of the scientific processes in a DUI case.

An experienced DUI attorney will have a better understanding of which DUI defense strategies can be used in your case, whereas a criminal defense lawyer is less likely to know which evidence to challenge simply due to lack of knowledge and experience.

Knowing whether the officer properly performed the traffic stop, field sobriety tests and chemical test requires training, skill, and experience, so your defense lawyer must be well-qualified. A felony DUI is a serious criminal charge, but remember, a criminal charge is only an accusation.

Don’t let an accusation become a conviction without first hiring a skilled DUI attorney to carefully review and challenge the evidence against you. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., our lead attorney is not only a member of the National College for DUI Defense, she is a Board Certified DUI defense specialist!

Facing felony DUI charges? Schedule a free consultation with Orange County’s DUI Queen!