Felony DUIs in California

Felony DUIs in California

Serious charges need serious representation.

Felony DUIIn most situations, getting caught driving over the legal limit for drugs or alcohol will result in a misdemeanor charge. However, there are three situations where the DUI could be prosecuted as a felony. If you find yourself in one of these three situations, you will certainly want to enlist the services of an expert DUI defense attorney to help protect you from the serious penalties that could attend a conviction.

DUI Causing Injury or Death

If you struck a pedestrian or vehicle while driving under the influence and serious injuries or death resulted, you could be charged with a felony. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the prosecutor may decide to charge you with DUI vehicular manslaughter, DUI second-degree murder, or “driving under the influence causing injury” as described in California Vehicle Code 23513.

Multiple Convictions

The more times you are convicted of DUI, the stiffer the penalties will become. By the time you reach your fourth DUI within 10 years, you may be facing felony charges. The prosecutor can count out of state DUIs as well as California DUIs when determining whether or not your case merits felony charges due to multiple convictions.

Prior Felony DUI

If you have any prior felony DUIs on your record, your next DUI will automatically be charged as a felony as well, regardless of the circumstances of the case. This means you could be charged with a felony on your second DUI if your first DUI caused a death. The three strikes in 10 years concept that normally governs multiple DUIs will not apply to you.

Defending Against Felony DUI Charges

Because the potential penalties for a felony DUI are so severe (including time in state prison and a loss of driving privileges) it is extremely important that you exhaust every possible avenue in your defense. As an experienced DUI attorney, Torrence L. Howell can help.

One of the most effective ways to defend against a felony DUI or any type of DUI is to challenge the blood or breath tests used to establish your level of impairment. These tests can often give false positives due to factors including improper test administration, improper machine calibration, or interference from medications or medical conditions. Torrence L. Howell will investigate all of these possibilities thoroughly to see if the test results can be called into question. Once this hard evidence has been undermined, the case against you often falls apart.