3 Reasons You Could Be Charged with Felony DUI

police officer walking with man in handcuffs

A DUI of any kind is a serious charge that needs to be handled immediately. With felony DUI, there is even more at stake. Let’s discuss three instances that could lead to a felony DUI arrest, potential penalties, and what your first defense step needs to be.

1. DUI Accident causing Injury or Death

It’s no secret: alcohol affects a driver’s ability to drive safely. In fact, the effects of alcohol can be felt after just one drink. If a driver has multiple drinks before getting behind the wheel, there is a significant risk of an accident. If an impaired driver strikes another vehicle, causing a passenger to become severely injured or pass away, the driver will face felony charges.

2. Repeat DUI

A first, second, and even third DUI are typically misdemeanor offenses. However, once you are arrested for your fourth DUI, it is automatically a felony. This is true as long as the fourth DUI occurs within the lookback period. In California, the lookback period is 10 years. This means that any offenses committed within that 10-year window will be considered repeat offenses. For example: if you were arrested for DUI in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2022, your 2022 DUI will be a felony offense.

3. A Prior Felony DUI

If you have a prior felony DUI on your record, any repeat offenses will automatically become felonies as well. For example, if your first DUI ended up being a felony, your second will be as well. This is true even if no accident occurred, and there are no aggravating factors.

Your First Step After Felony DUI

The first and most important thing you need to do after a DUI is to contact a criminal defense attorney. Make sure you hire an experienced attorney who has helped past clients facing similar charges. Felony charges are serious, and you should not attempt to handle your case without a lawyer.

Additionally, do not make any statements without speaking to your attorney first. You should always use your right to remain silent.

San Bernardino Felony DUI Defense Attorneys

Newman & Allen is here for you after an unexpected and serious DUI arrest. We know the ins and outs of these types of cases, and want to help protect your future by getting you the best possible result. Get started today: (909) 328-6101.