Felony DUI In California
If you have made the mistake of drinking over the legal limit and then driving your car, it is reasonable that at some point you will be pulled over by law enforcement and be arrested for DUI. It is a common occurrence – very common, in fact. Since the legal limit is barely more than what you would attain by drinking one beer (depending on your body size and composition), it is very easy to be guilty of this even though you aren’t intending to break the law.
If during this drinking and driving incident, you should have the extreme misfortune to be involved in an accident that causes bodily harm or death to another human being, you are suddenly looking at felony DUI and a whole different experience that could change the course of your life forever. While regular DUI can be harmful to your well-being and your life resulting in things like debt, damaged relationships, negative impacts to your employment, a restricted driver’s license, additional expenses from having a breathalyzer in your car, among other things, once you have come through these things in about a year you have a hope of returning to “normal” and not having a lingering shadow hanging over you.
Felony DUI is a different story, however. Some of the things that can happen with felony DUI include:
- Prison sentence – anywhere from 16 months to 4 years
- Parole following the stint in prison – duration unknown and somewhat changeable based on offense and behavior
- Additional fines up to $5000
- A complete suspension of your driver’s license for at least 4 years and maybe longer depending on circumstances
- Completing an alcohol treatment program that runs from 18 to 30 months
And these are just the known quantities. Other penalties could be brought to bear, again depending on circumstances. A conviction of felony DUI will stay on your record for a very long time as well – usually 10 years at a minimum. You could even wind up with a permanent mark against your record from a felony DUI. You could lose basic civil rights accorded to most citizens in the U.S., and then there are the other add-ons for felony DUI.
Chances are you will have a negative impact on your personal relationships and employment, and you could have a hard time finding new employment following this conviction. Your credit could be affected adversely, and you might even have a hard time applying for and winning the ability to live where you choose as housing depends on reputation, to some degree.
The only thing that could help you in the event that you are arrested for felony DUI is a qualified and dedicated DUI criminal defense lawyer – someone who understands the legal system where you live and knows who all the players are in order to get the best response for you. Our DUI lawyers are experienced criminal law attorneys who specializes in DUI law and can help you avoid many if not most or all of the punishments that can come with felony DUI – something you could never hope to do on your own. Should you ever find yourself in trouble over a DUI arrest, make sure you call our criminal defense law firm as soon as possible, 510-842-0750.