Driving under the influence (DUI) has become one of the top priorities
for law enforcement officers and prosecutors across the country. In their
efforts to make roadways safer, authorities have become very aggressive
in arresting motorists they suspect are driving under the influence of
alcohol or drugs. As such, it's not uncommon for most people to know
of someone who has been convicted for DUI, or who has a DUI conviction
DUI may be one of the more common criminal offenses, it is in no way less
serious. A typical first time DUI charge packs serious penalties, including
large fines, hefty fees and fines, and the long-term consequences that
come with having a conviction on one's record. Although a majority
of DUI cases are misdemeanors, there are certain circumstances where drivers
can face felony DUI charges – as well as enhanced penalties.
California Felony DUI
In California, there are several ways a driver may face felony DUI charges.
DUI Causing Injury – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing an
accident that injures others may subject you to felony DUI charges, depending
on the unique circumstances involved. Impaired driving causes many preventable
injuries each year, and authorities and prosecutors are intent on setting
examples. Drivers who cause injuries while impaired can face stiff penalties,
including lengthy license suspensions or revocations, and up to four years
in state prison.
DUI Causing Death – DUI causing death, also known as vehicular manslaughter while
intoxicated, is most often prosecuted as a felony offense. This is the
most serious DUI charge, as it involves impaired drivers who cause fatal
accidents. If gross negligence is involved, convicted individuals can
face up to 10 years in prison for this charge.
– You may face felony charges if you are arrested for DUI and have
3 prior DUI convictions within the past
10 years. Out of state DUIs and wet reckless convictions may be considered a prior
DUI conviction. The penalties for receiving a fourth DUI within 10 years
include a four year license revocation and sixteen months, two years,
or four years in state prison.
Prior Felony DUI – Drivers who have been convicted of a felony DUI offense –
for any reason and at any time in the past – may also face felony
charges if arrested for DUI for any reason. This means that even if your
charge is not typically a felony level offense, you can still face felony
DUI charges for having a prior felony DUI on your record.
Regardless of the specific charge, felony DUIs are serious allegations
that demand the attention of a skilled and experienced attorney. At The
Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, Attorney Gibbs has more than 30 years of
experience protecting the rights, freedoms, and futures of clients facing
DUI charges, including even the most serious. To discuss your case with
an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer, contact our firm today for a