What is a Felony DUI?

Most often, a typical driving under the influence offense with no aggravating factors will be charged as a misdemeanor, and the maximum penalty is up to 12 months in county jail. In some cases, however, a person may be charged with a felony DUI offense. In these cases, the minimum penalty is 1 year in state prison. When facing any type of drunk driving charge, particularly a felony DUI charge, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Types of Felony DUI and Potential Penalties

The penalties of conviction for a felony DUI vary, depending upon a number of factors. For example, there are actually several different drunk driving charges which may qualify as felonies: DUI with injury, vehicular manslaughter, and a fourth DUI offense. Following are some of the standard penalties which may be enforced for a felony conviction:

Fourth Offense: A driver who has been convicted of three prior DUIs will immediately be charged with a felony for the fourth offense.

  • Driver's license suspension: 4 years
  • Probation: up to 5 years
  • State prison sentence: up to 3 years

DUI with Injury: If a drunk driver is involved in a crash that causes injury to another person, no matter if the victim is a passenger or another driver, they could be charged with a felony offense.

  • State prison sentence: up to 3 years
  • With great bodily injury: up to 6 years in prison
  • Strike under California's Three Strikes Law

Vehicular Manslaughter: If a driver unlawfully kills another person without malice and through the operation of their vehicle while in violation of California's drunk driving laws, the individual could be charged with this felony crime.

  • Felony DUI manslaughter: up to 4 years in state prison
  • With gross negligence: up to 10 years in state prison

Contact Okabe & Haushalter!

By enlisting a knowledgeable attorney from Okabe & Haushalter, you can gain a clear understanding of what you are up against in regards to your felony charges. An honest and experienced attorney will meet with you, free of charge, for an initial consultation. At this time, you can determine exactly how you are going to handle this situation and fight for your rights.

Our attorneys have experience in public defense and in prosecution. This diverse experience has allowed them to be innovative in creating DUI defense strategies, enabling our firm to help a great deal of people throughout the years. This experience and innovation pays off particularly in felony drunk driving cases, as we need to draw on every resource we have to disprove the prosecution's case and protect our client's rights. These charges are very serious and conviction could have severe effects upon your future and freedom, which is why you cannot hesitate to retain the aggressive advocacy you deserve. Call our powerful team today!

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