3 Different Ways DUI is a Felony in California

In California, the offense of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, or both, is criminalized under Section 23152 of the Vehicle Code. DUI is what’s called a “wobbler” because it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts of the case.

In fact, even a first DUI with NO prior DUI convictions can be charged as a felony under specific circumstances, though most first DUIs are misdemeanors.

Under Sec. 23152 VC, you commit DUI when:

  • You drive under the influence of alcohol.
  • You drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
  • You are addicted to any drug and you drive a vehicle.
  • You drive under the influence of any drug.
  • You drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • You are driving a cab, an Uber or Lyft and your BAC is 0.04% or above.
  • You’re driving a commercial vehicle and your BAC is 0.04% or above.

Generally, DUI is a misdemeanor offense, but not always. Under the following three circumstances, a California DUI is elevated to a California felony:

  1. You caused serious bodily injury or death to another person as a result of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  2. You have one or more prior felony DUI convictions on your record.
  3. You have three or more DUI or “wet reckless” convictions on your record in the past 10 years.

Note: Even if a previous DUI was reduced to a California wet reckless, it’s important that you know wet reckless is a “priorable offense” for sentencing purposes. This means that a wet reckless will count against you as a prior DUI if you are convicted of a future DUI.

If you are facing felony DUI charges in California, it could mean a state prison sentence up to 10 years depending on the facts of the case. That said, you can’t afford to risk your freedom and your future! Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. at once to start fighting your charges.

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