When is a DUI a felony? How does a DUI Felony affect you? What you can do about it?
In California, a DUI is what is commonly referred to as a “wobbler”; this means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, in order to be charged with a felony DUI there must be aggravating factors that warrant that type of enhancement. These aggravating factors may occur when the DUI:
- Causes Death or Injury
- Is the Fourth DUI within Ten Years
- Comes after a Prior Felony DUI.
1. A DUI felony happens when it causes injury or death
A first time DUI is likely only charged as a felony when the result of the drunk driving is death or serious injury to another person. There are three different types of felony DUIs under this category specifically the prosecution can charge either:
- CVC 23512 DUI Causing Injury,
- CPC 191.5 Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, OR
- CPC 192.5 Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated.
2. DUI felony happens when you have 3 or more prior DUI’s in 10 Years
Prior offenses include a California DUI, a California “wet reckless” or an out of state equivalent.
3. DUI felony happens when you already had a prior felony DUI
If you have a conviction for a felony DUI and you get arrested for any other DUI, you will be charged with a felony.
What to do if charged with a DUI felony?
Bail: For many who face a DUI felony or any kind of felony for that matter, a major issue is bail. Felonies carry a higher bail amount than misdemeanors and that will most likely be the first priority on the clients mind or the minds of their family. In many cases, having an attorney when securing bail actually helps your bottom line and could save you money. This is why having an attorney ready to assist you prior to posting bail could make a big difference financially and strategically.
Hiring a Lawyer