DUI is an act of driving while under the influence of alcohol, often known as OWI, DUI, or driving while intoxicated. Is DUI a felony? Irrespective of the language used, DUI is a severe crime in every state, and often it comes with significant penalties. In the last few years, most states have become increasingly intolerant of driving while intoxicated and have imposed very harsh penalties. If you have been arrested for an OWI or DUI in Indiana, give Indiana DUI attorneys, Gemma & Karimi, LLP a call at (317) 676-4747.
DUI Categories And Charges
When someone gets convicted due to DUI crime, this offense is charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony crime is a more severe offense than a felony, with more significant and noticeable penalties. With a felony offense, you can be jailed for a year or more in jail or, at times, receive substantial fines and other penalties. Misdemeanor DUIs can only result in a maximum of up to a year in prison.
The differences between a felony and a misdemeanor offense depend entirely on the governing state’s laws and the case’s circumstances. It implies that if a driver gets charged with a felony DUI in one country, and the same offense occurs in another country, the crime might be charged as a misdemeanor. A felony DUI differs from state laws, and several issues make a DUI a felony instead of a misdemeanor. These issues are often referred to as aggravating circumstances or aggravating factors, and they include;
- Blood Alcohol Level – One way a misdemeanor DUI can assume the level of a felony DUI is when a driver drinks a lot. It becomes an offense when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is above a legally specified amount
- Injury – In case you get into a crash while driving with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, it is possible you won’t be charged with a DUI felony, not unless there are other factors involved
- Previous Offenses – When you habitually repeat drinking while intoxicated offenses, you will likely face felony DUI charges; this happens when they exist prior DUI convictions within a specified time limit
- Child in the Vehicle – Whenever you are found driving under the influence of alcohol with others in the car, you may face a felony DUI charge rather than a misdemeanor
- Driving with a Suspended License – Anyone driving with a suspended license can also face a felony DUI regardless of the other aggravating circumstances. Driving with a suspended license is illegal, and it is often enough to raise the DWI to a felony
Felony DUI Penalties
Penalties on DUI felony are most significant. Anyone caught in the act faces severe fines with possibilities of potential lengthy incarceration. Courts make wise decisions in determining the kind of penalty to impose, although the sentences differ significantly from case to case.
- Prison – Felony DUI crimes can cause lengthy terms in state prison with a possible sentence of seven years or more, although the state laws differ widely on prison terms.
- Fines – People convicted of felony DUI can get penalties from courts. Even though the amounts differ widely depending on the state, the court may impose a fine of $10,000 or more.
- Probation – You may receive probation in some felony DUI cases. A court can decide to impose a probation sentence on anyone convicted with DUI cases. It applies typically instead of, or in addition to, prison time or fines.
- Driving restrictions – Driving under the influence of drugs can result in losing driving privileges revoked by state administrative procedures. It means that anyone charged with DUI charges essentially faces two trials: the driver’s license administrative trial and the criminal trial.
Retain A DUI Attorney For Your Felony
Most states consider DUI crimes as misdemeanor offenses and apply DUI charges as a felony, depending on the offense’s circumstances. Driving while under the influence of drugs is contrary to law, even if they are legally used, such as a prescription or illegal drugs in the country, i.e., cocaine. Any time you face DUI charges, it is essential to promptly speak to an experienced OWI defense attorney. Your ability to stay free and retain your license depends mainly on what you say during the justice process.