Felony DUI

Helping People In Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, L.A. County, and Southern California

When someone drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California, it's typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense on a first, second or third time DUI offense providing there weren't any "aggravating factors" present which would include driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or above, speeding, driving with a child in the vehicle, or causing bodily injury or death. There are situations where a California drunk driving charge may result in felony charges and these include:

  • The DUI resulted in injury or death to another person
  • You have 3 or more prior DUI convictions within a ten year period
  • You have one or more felony DUI convictions

In the state of California, DUI is considered a "priorable" offense, which means that each subsequent offense incurs stiffer fines and penalties if you were convicted for a similar offense. If you have three or more DUI convictions within the last ten years and are arrested for a fourth DUI, you will most likely be charged with a felony DUI. With respect to drunk driving offenses, a prior offense can include a California DUI, a California "wet reckless" or an out-of-state DUI or any combination thereof. The penalties for a fourth DUI within the last ten years include from 16 months to 3 years in prison or a jail sentence of 180 days to 1 year, a maximum fine of $1,000, and a license revocation for four years.

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In California, the majority of DUI offenses are treated as misdemeanors, how someone is charged will depend on the circumstances of the arrest. In most cases first, second and third DUIs are treated as misdemeanors unless the driver committed a traffic violation such as excessive speeding or if they injured another person. Assuming you are not a repeat offender with three or more prior convictions within the last 10 years and assuming no one was injured, it should be treated as misdemeanor; however, if this is your fourth DUI in 10 years, or if you injured another person, then you may be facing felony charges which could have long-term repercussions, specifically from the felony conviction on your criminal record.

To learn more about your DUI case and what types of defense strategies we would employ on your behalf, contact a Ventura DUI attorney from Ridley Defense today!