San Leandro Felony DUI Lawyer
While DUI usually is a misdemeanor offense, it may be elevated to a felony under some circumstances. Whether you have three prior convictions within ten years and now are facing a fourth DUI offense, or your DUI directly led to bodily injury to others, you are likely to be facing felony DUI charges.
All repercussions of a DUI conviction can be severe, but a felony conviction can create a criminal record that may impact various aspects of your life. As a result, contacting a San Leandro felony DUI lawyer may be advantageous. Call today and set up a consultation with a seasoned DUI attorney.
Felony DUI Charges in San Leandro
For a first DUI, second DUI, and third DUI offense, the charge is a misdemeanor, but if individuals have three or more DUI or wet reckless convictions within ten years, the fourth DUI will be charged as a felony, as will any subsequent DUI charge.
If a DUI results in an accident that causes injury or death to another person, the DUI charge also is a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Although prosecutors have the discretion to charge the DUI as a misdemeanor in this situation, as a practical matter, this reduced charge rarely occurs when there is a significant injury to another party. For more information about felony DUI charges, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.
Felony DUI Causing Injury or Death
Under California Vehicle Code § 23513, individuals can face a felony charge for driving under the influence causing injury. The DUI must be the proximate cause of the injury, and the individuals must also have driven negligently or otherwise committed another vehicle code violation other than DUI. Oftentimes a Gross Bodily Injury enhancement will be attached to the DUI charge if there is a serious injury inflicted. If death occurs under these circumstances, then the individuals could face charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or DUI second-degree murder.
Which criminal charge individuals will face in this situation depends on whether the DUI results in bodily injury or death, as well as their prior criminal history and the facts that led to the offense. A felony conviction, however, has implications that go beyond the punishment that a sentencing judge imposes.
Penalties for Felony DUI Convictions
One potential consequence of a felony DUI conviction is fines, which range from $390 to $1,000 for DUI offenses. However, the court assesses additional fees and court costs, which can increase significantly increase the total fees owed – this does not include the possible restitution owed to a victim of a crime who was injured or suffered property damage due to a DUI collision. Likewise, individuals convicted of a felony DUI offense must complete a lengthy alcohol rehabilitation and education course, which can also be costly.
A maximum three-year prison sentence is also a possibility in a felony DUI case. If a DUI offense is a felony because it resulted in injuries or death to others, individuals can face even longer prison sentences than three years. Individuals convicted of a felony DUI can lose their driver’s license for up to ten years and be designated as a habitual traffic offender.
A period of formal probation, which can last from three to five years, typically will follow any period of incarceration. While on formal probation, individuals must meet periodically with a probation officer and comply with other terms and conditions as set by the court. Given the potential severity of these consequences, retaining a felony DUI lawyer in San Leandro may be highly beneficial.
Work with a San Leandro Felony DUI Attorney
Given the gravity of felony DUI charges, individuals may wish to consult a San Leandro felony DUI lawyer as soon as possible following their DUI arrest. Having legal representation in place can increase your chances of a positive outcome in your case. Reach out to a lawyer today to ensure that your rights are protected during the criminal justice process.