What is Felony DUI in California?
California criminal lawyers represent hundreds of people every year who are charged with felony DUI. Many of them are surprised that they were charged with a felony and not a misdemeanor. The reason this is important is because the sentence for a felony DUI is much worse than for a first-offense misdemeanor. You’ll be looking at a jail sentence, fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license for years. That’s why it’s important that you call and talk to one of our California criminal lawyers as soon as possible after your arrest.
There are 3 Ways You Can Be Charged with Felony DUI
In California, you can be charged for felony DUI in three situations:
- This is your 4th DUI within ten (10) years
- You hurt or killed somebody in a DUI car accident
- You get charged with DUI and have a prior felony DUI on your record
One thing your California criminal lawyer will do is try to get your case reduced to a misdemeanor DUI. If it weren’t for your prior history, that is what the offense would be. However, the prosecutor rarely agrees to this. You would have to present some pretty impressive arguments for this to happen. If the charge was a felony due to an accidental injury or death, there is no discretion on the part of the prosecutor. It will remain a felony no matter what.
Your California Criminal Lawyer Fight the Charges for You
As with any other criminal charge, your California criminal lawyer will do whatever they can to help you. They’ll talk to the prosecutor and see if they can get the charges reduced. They’ll also review the evidence and see where they can poke holes in the State’s case. You just need to be realistic about the outcome.
The Judges Have no Pity for Habitual Offenders
It is true that people make mistakes. That’s why the penalties for a first offense aren’t that bad. However, if you start to rack up multiple DUI, the courts see you as a habitual offender. They worry that you have no respect or fear of the law. If that’s true, they fear that you could hurt or kill yourself or an innocent person. That’s why the penalties for felony DUI are so severe.
Call and Set Up a Date and Time to Come to Our Office
Before your California criminal lawyer can do anything to help you, they need to review your case. Since every case is unique, your attorney will need to look at the evidence the State has against you. Depending on how strong it is, and how bad your criminal record is, your attorney will advise you of your options. Just remember – felony-DUI is a serious crime. It’s different from your first DUI. By the time you reach your fourth or third DUI, the courts have gotten tired of hearing your excuses. This will make it particularly hard to convince a judge that you deserve a reduced sentence.
In order to have any inkling as to what you’re up against, you should take the time to sit down with one of our skilled lawyers. Set up a date and time that works for you. If you need to meet by phone or skype, that’s not a problem. If you’re currently incarcerated, you have a couple of options. First, you can have a family member take over as power of attorney (POA). If this happens, then we talk to them about happened. They can help retain our services on your behalf. Or we can come and discuss the matter at the jail.