Everything You Need to Know About Felony DUI California


 There are 5 ways DUI can be charged as a felony in California. This expert guide explains felony DUI laws, penalties and the best ways to fight DUI charges.

When Does a DUI Become a Felony in California?


Whether you had one too many or mistakenly underestimated the effects of your cold and allergy medication, being charged with driving under the influence is no laughing matter. A DUI conviction has the potential to earn severe, life-altering consequences.

The California Penal Code defines a DUI as “driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.” A DUI is considered to be a misdemeanor if it is the driver’s first offense. A second or third offense, or if the driver has had their license suspended in the past, will be considered a felony.

DUI defense attorney can help you fight DUI charges in California. They have the experience, skill, and knowledge to guide you through the legal system and get you the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney for a free consultation.

What Constitutes a Felony DUI in California?


A California DUI felony offense is defined as driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. A driver can be charged with felony DUI if they have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, or if they have been convicted of three or more misdemeanor DUI offenses within 10 years.

A DUI becomes a felony when:

  • The driver has had their license suspended in the past

  • It is their second or third offense

  • They refuse to take a blood test

There is also an enhancement in the charge if an accident causing bodily injury or death occurs during the drunk driving offense. A local attorney from The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney can offer advice, advocacy, and representation in court.

Penalty for a Felony DUI in California


In California, a felony conviction for drunk driving is punishable by up to three years in state prison. A felony DUI is the most serious type of driving under the influence offense that law enforcement can charge an individual with. The repercussions of violating this law can alter the course of your life.

The penalties for a felony DUI are more severe than those for a misdemeanor DUI. They can include:

  • Jail time

  • Fines

  • Community service

  • Increased vehicle insurance rates

  • Criminal record

Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony DUi charges, reach out to The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney to schedule a free initial consultation.

What Happens if a Felon Gets a DUI?


DUI penalties in California vary depending on the severity of the offense, the driver’s record, the circumstances of the case, and the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The consequences can be harsh even for those convicted of their first DUI, which is usually classified as a misdemeanor.

For example, in California, offenders who are found guilty of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08% will lose their license for one year and may have to spend up to six months in jail. However, if an offender has multiple DUI convictions or is considered a habitual traffic offender, they will be charged with a felony DUI and face harsher punishments.

It is essential to get a skilled criminal defense attorney in California if you are charged with a DUI.

Can a Felony DUI Be Expunged in California?


Felony DUI can be expunged in California if the person has been free of felony convictions for 10 years. Having a felony conviction removed from your criminal record can greatly broaden your opportunities.

An experienced DUI expungement lawyer can further clarify the details, how they relate to your case, and how you can develop a solid strategy.


Cost of Expunging a DUI in California

California DUI expungement is a complicated process. It can take time and money. The cost of DUI expungement in California varies depending on the county and the agency that handles it.

Since DUI expungements remove prior DUI convictions from your criminal record, professional legal representation can help you improve your chances. Hence, aside from the fees and court costs, it is important to factor in the costs of hiring an attorney. Contact a reputable attorney to get an estimate of how much DUI expungement will cost you. 

How Long Does a Felony DUI Stay on Your Record in California?


Felony DUI convictions are serious offenses in California, and it’s important to understand how long they will stay on your record. The length of time that the conviction stays on your record is dependent upon the severity of the crime. In California, a felony DUI conviction stays on your record for 10 years.


Defenses for DUI Charges


It is also important to keep in mind that there are many different ways of defending against a drunk driving charge. Common defenses for DUI are the following:

  • An officer made the DUI stop without probable cause so it was an improper stop.

  • The DUI sobriety test was administered inappropriately or the results were incorrect.

  • A breathalyzer test may be compromised by certain factors, such as vomiting and indigestion.

  • The defendant can claim that their BAC was rising was below the legal limit when he was driving, but increased between the time of the traffic stop and the breath test. 


Should You Consider Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for a DUI in CA?

If you are charged with a DUI in California, it is important to get a qualified criminal defense attorney. Felony DUI charges are not always what they seem. The penalties for DUI in California vary based on the circumstances of the case and the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC).

leading DUI lawyer in California may be able to help if you have a prior felony DUI conviction or felony drug charges on your criminal record. If you are facing felony DUI charges, contact The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney for a free consultation. Call now!

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