DUIs in California have the ability to go from misdemeanors to felonies under some circumstances. Look here to find out when this can happen.
In the state of California, DUIs are taken extremely seriously. In most cases, the state gives you strict guidelines on what you can and cannot do while driving, and DUI punishments in these situations are often extremely severe. Unfortunately, even with how often these punishments are handed out, there is still a huge number of DUI charges being handed down today that have resulted in felonies. Read on to get the information you need to know when a DUI becomes a felony in California!
When the DUI Accident Causes Someone Injury or Death
When another person is injured or killed as a result of you operating a vehicle while drunk and either damaging another vehicle code or driving recklessly, California investigators can charge you with felony DUI. These three situations result in a DUI: driving under the influence and causing serious injury, manslaughter while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle, or second-degree DUI murder.
When You Have Four or More DUIs
Under the law, driving drunk is classified as what’s known as a “priorable” violation in California. When you are sentenced with a priorable offense, the fines and sentences are increased each time you are charged with a comparable offense.
If you have been arrested three or more times for DUI within the last 10 years and are arrested for another DUI, you will almost certainly face felony DUI charges in California. Prior convictions in the area of driving while intoxicated include driving while intoxicated, a “wet reckless” arrest, or a charge for a DUI that occurs out of state.
When You Have a Prior DUI Felony
A DUI becomes a felony in California in the case where someone has a prior felony drunk driving conviction and commits any DUI, including “basic” misdemeanor drunk driving with no aggravating circumstances. This circumstance would most likely happen if you had a DUI conviction and your previous impaired driving conviction resulted in harm or death and was prosecuted as a felony, or if you received several DUI offenses and were charged as a felony. This holds true even when the current and pending case took place a decade after the accepted timeframe of 10 years has passed.
While it can be hard to live with a DUI, just know that you can still get jobs, and you will eventually be able to drive again, given that you do not continue down your trend of DUIs. At this point, the ball is in your court to make the right decisions to help you lead a successful life, so get to it!