Many people view DUIs are traffic offenses that, while serious, do not rise to the level of felony conduct. This is not necessarily true. You can be charged with a felony DUI in California under a number of circumstances. The penalties for a felony DUI can be extraordinarily serious, and it would likely be in the best interest of anyone charged with a felony DUI to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible date. The following is an overview of when a DUI can be charged as a felony in California.
Felony DUI Proceedings
A DUI is usually charged by prosecutors as a misdemeanor. This is true whether you are facing a first time, second time, or third time DUI. That said, there are three situations where your DUI can be associated with “aggravating factors” that may result in a felony charge. These factors include:
- A DUI charge resulting in an injury or death, known as a DUI with injury
- A DUI charge in which great bodily injury, or ‘GBI’, is inflicted
- A DUI that results in vehicular manslaughter and/or vehicular homicide
- A felony DUI conviction prior to your current DUI charge
- Repeat offences, or three or more prior DUI convictions in the past ten years
Felony DUI Charges
While most DUIs are triable as misdemeanor offenses, certain circumstances can raise the charge to felony status. After you are convicted of a felony, you may lose basic rights, like the right to bear arms, hunting and fishing licenses, and even, temporarily, the right to vote. Additionally, you may be required to disclose your status as a felon on job applications. Being charged as a felon is a serious offense and can affect the rest of your life.
Your best bet to avoid these serious repercussions is to find an experienced defense attorney. Even if you are initially charged with a felony, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges against you dismissed for lack of evidence, or they may be able to get the prosecutor to lower the charges against you.
The Law Office of Christopher J. McCann has over fifteen years of experience fighting for clients who may find themselves facing felony DUI charges. We will represent you for all trials, including the DMV hearing to provide the best possible outcome and preserve your driving privileges.
If You’re Facing Felony DUI Charges
Facing felony DUI charges is emotionally taxing. The sooner you have an experienced defense attorney on your side, the better. At the Law Office of Christopher J. McCann, we are dedicated to protecting you and your rights following a felony DUI charge. We will use our 15+ years of experience working closely with our clients to ensure that your future is secure. If you have been arrested or charged with a felony DUI, contact our office at 888-360-4256 or use our contact me online form to schedule a free consultation today. Do not let a felony DUI conviction ruin your life. The Law Office of Christopher J. McCann will fight for you and your loved ones in this difficult time.