Felony DUI Charges Have Serious Implications
Being charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California can have serious impacts on your life. Without the assistance of a felony DUI charges defense in Sacramento, DUI convictions can always carry the possibility of stiff fines, jail time, and a big increase in your insurance rates. In addition, you could also be facing the loss of your job and the stigma of being convicted of a crime that is heavily frowned upon by society.
When a DUI Charge Can Be a Felony in California
In most cases, a DUI charge is a misdemeanor offense. This assumes there are no aggravating factors. But when aggravating factors are present, charges can be elevated to a felony which can mean significantly more penalties upon conviction.
There are three instances when a DUI can be elevated to a felony.
When driving under the influence causes injury or death. When this happens, you can be charged with DUI vehicular manslaughter, DUI second-degree murder, or driving under the influence causing injury.
When you have multiple convictions. Known as “priorable offenses”, when you have past convictions you will face stiffer penalties and sentences every time you are convicted for the same offense. If you have incurred three or more DUI convictions in the past 10 years and get arrested for DUI again, you will probably be charged with a felony DUI.
When you have a prior felony DUI. Even if your current DUI arrest has no aggravated circumstances, if you have at least one prior felony DUI, you will be charged with a felony DUI.
Mounting a Felony DUI Charges Defense
Any DUI arrest is serious, but when the charge is elevated to a felony, the results can be life-altering. To beat a felony DUI charge, you must retain the services of an aggressive and experienced felony DUI charges defense attorney as soon as possible. It is critical to protecting your rights and giving you the best chance to have charges reduced or being found innocent.
Joseph P. Hougnon serves clients in Sacramento and other nearby northern California communities.