Not every state has felony DUI (driving under the influence) laws. Take California for example: a drunk driving charge in California is actually considered a simple traffic offense. Instead of receiving a serious charge like a felony, you’ll usually only get charged with a misdemeanor. That is, unless your DUI charge involves extenuating circumstances.
There are a few extenuating circumstances in which a California DUI is upgraded from a misdemeanor to felony. Every case is different and you should consult your lawyer for expert advice on your specific situation, but if your arrest involves any of the following a felony may be in your future.
You’ve been charged with multiple DUIs
When you’ve already been charged with three or more previous DUIs, you’re much more likely to receive a felony DUI charge. Those DUI charges could include three simple DUI charges in California or a combination of previous DUI charges in California and another state. It could also include a combination of California ‘wet reckless’ charges and other DUI charges.
You’ve caused a crash that resulted in the injury or death of another person
Car crashes happen all the time, and California has seen their fair share of extremely violent DUI crashes over the past year. If you’ve driven drunk and caused a crash that resulted in the injury or death of another person, you could be charged with a felony DUI.
You’ve already been charged with a felony DUI
When you’ve already been charged with a felony DUI in California and you drink and drive again, you may receive a second felony DUI charge. That means you’ll once again be spending time in a state prison, you’ll lose your driver’s license, and you’ll most likely be unable to leave the country to travel.
No one wants to get a felony DUI in California or anywhere else, but that’s the charge you could receive if you meet any of these conditions. Don’t want to be charged with DUI? It’s simple to stay out of jail and keep your driver’s license: just don’t drink and drive.