While any drunk driving charge is serious, felony DUI charges can be particularly serious and carry stiffer penalties and consequences than other types of driving under the influence charges. Because of the serious nature of felony DUI charges, individuals facing them should be familiar with what they are and what they can do about them.
Most DUI charges are misdemeanor charges that carry less harsh penalties and consequences than felony charges. Based on the circumstances, a DUI charge can, however, be a felony DUI charge. Felony DUI charges are usually based on the seriousness of the circumstances, which can raise the nature of the charges to a felony charge. In general, felony crimes can be penalized by a year or greater in prison, rather than a year or less in jail, and more significant fines than misdemeanor charges. This is not always the case, however, and because felony DUI charges vary by state, it is important for an accused driver to be familiar with DUI laws in their state.
Some examples of circumstances that may result in felony DUI charges include an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level above a certain level; if the accused driver caused bodily harm as a result of driving under the influence; if there were any children in the vehicle at the time of the alleged DUI; if the DUI charge occurs when the accused driver is driving on a suspended, revoked or restricted license; or if the accused driver has prior convictions for driving under the influence.
Felony DUI charges are severe criminal charges that accused drivers should take seriously and be prepared to respond to if they do not want to face the harsh potential penalties and consequences that come along with them. A strong criminal defense strategy can help accused drivers defend themselves against drunk driving charges, including more serious felony drunk driving charges.