When filing charges for a DUI, California law enforcement officers consider certain circumstances to decide whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. If you are involved in a car accident, and your BAC is high, you may be charged with a felony, even if you are not at fault.

When you are charged with a felony for driving under the influence in California, you take action to fight the charges.  Call a felony DUI lawyer at Walsh Law today and let us fight to protect your rights.

When Is a DUI a Felony in California?

The legal BAC limit in California is 0.08%. In many cases, you do not have to have a BAC exceeding this limit to be charged with a DUI because the prosecutor can provide additional evidence of impairment, such as erratic driving behavior. Although it’s never a good idea to drive after drinking, your BAC can be affected by several factors. For example, heavier people, men, and people who have recently eaten might be able to drive safely compared to others who drank the same amount.

A first-offense DUI with no injuries is often charged as a misdemeanor. DUI can become a felony under California Vehicle Code Section 23153 when:

  • A driver impaired by alcohol or drugs causes the death or serious injury of another
  • A driver has three or more convictions for DUIs or wet reckless driving within the last 10 years
    • Wet reckless represents a negotiated plea to reckless driving down from a DUI
  • A driver has been convicted of felony DUI in the past

An experienced felony DUI lawyer in Folsom could investigate your DUI case, build a strong defense, and help you avoid conviction or determine if your charges can be reduced.

Felony DUI Consequences

Penalties for a felony DUI in California are harsh. Depending on the circumstances of your case, being convicted can bring penalties such as:

  • Between 16 months and 16 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Restitution determined by the courts
  • A five-year driver’s license suspension or DUI school for up to 30 months

Penalties are also serious for offenders with prior DUI convictions. Subsequent convictions could face anywhere from 16 months to three years in state prison, a $1,000 fine, and lose their driver’s license for up to 30 months and have to complete DUI school for up to 30 months.

Other Consequences of a Felony DUI Conviction

In addition to criminal penalties, those convicted of a felony DUI could face social consequences such as:

  • Difficulty finding housing and employment
  • Child custody issues
  • Immigration issues
  • Loss of firearm rights

Clearly, the consequences of a DUI are far-reaching and can change your life forever. Our felony DUI lawyers in Folsom have years of experience defending against charges like yours and could help you get the best possible case outcome.

Felony DUI Defenses

Being arrested for a felony DUI doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted and face the worst penalties. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of a felony DUI. As former prosecutors, our attorneys understand how the state will pursue its case against you and how to challenge their evidence. Your situation might feel hopeless, but keep in mind you have the right to answer to the charges against you and present a defense.

Your attorney will determine the appropriate defense strategy for your circumstances to give you the best chance of avoiding conviction. We can explore defenses such as:

  • Proving you were not under the influence when arrested
  • Showing that no serious injuries or death resulted from your behavior
  • The police erred in conducting the field sobriety test
  • Contesting the results of the breathalyzer test
  • You were mistakenly identified and wrongfully arrested
  • Identifying errors in the chain of custody after your arrest

Call A Felony DUI Attorney in Folsom Today

We recognize that there are many situations that could lead to a felony DUI charge. We also believe that one mistake shouldn’t affect your life forever or define who you are. Felony DUI charges are serious, and we are available to discuss how we may be able to help.

We know your future is on the line, and we’ll take action to protect it. When you are accused of felony DUI, we’ll fight to minimize the consequences you face. Our Folsom felony DUI lawyers are dedicated to advocating in your best interest for the best possible outcome, whether it’s for a reduction or dismissal of the charges our clients face. You deserve a passionate and tenacious defense, and we can provide it.

Call 916-237-8270 today or contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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