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When Are California DUI Charges Classified as Felonies?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose CA felony DUI defense attorneyTypically, a DUI will be classified as a misdemeanor offense when you are charged for your first, second or third DUI. However, there are circumstances that will lead to felony DUI charges usually if there is an “aggravating factor” present. It is important to understand how the specific circumstances alleged by police and prosecutors will affect your legal situation and the kind of penalties you might be facing.

DUI Causing Great Bodily Injury or Death to Another

One of the more common ways that a DUI will be classified as felony charge is by causing bodily injury or death to another person while you are driving. California Vehicle Code Section 23153 states that you do not have to have a certain BAC to be convicted of this felony charge. In order to be charged with this felony, you must have a measurable amount of alcohol in your system while driving and have committed a crime or an act of negligence that caused great bodily injury or death to another person.

Three or More DUI Convictions Within the Past 10 Years

The first three times you are charged with a DUI will more than likely be charged as misdemeanors. In California, there are what are known as “priorable offenses” a priorable offense is one that gets gradually more strict with each conviction. DUI is a priorable offense, so if you get more than three offenses within 10 years, your fourth offense will become a felony.

Prior Felony DUI Conviction

Felony charges are serious and punishments for felony charges are meant to discourage you from ever committing that crime again. With that being said, if you were convicted of a felony DUI charge and you are convicted of a subsequent DUI, you will more than likely be charged with a felony DUI charge, even if it was just a “wet reckless” charge or a DUI charge with no aggravating factors.

Contact a San Jose, CA Felony DUI Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible

Any DUI charge is serious, but felony DUI charges carry greater penalties than misdemeanor charges. You could be facing longer jail sentences, longer driver’s license suspensions and greater fines with a felony DUI charge. If you are facing felony DUI charges, an experienced San Jose, CA felony DUI defense lawyer will be your key to getting the best result possible. Our knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys at Jachimowicz Law Group will discuss the details of your case with you and advise you of the best defense strategy possible. To set up a free consultation, call our office at 408-246-5500.

Source:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=11.&title=&part=&chapter=12.&article=2.

 

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