Yes. It can be.
A felony is the most serious type of crime a person can commit, and you’ll definitely want to consult an attorney to help protect your rights and offer defense strategies. Usually the length of your punishment is going to determined by how low or high the severity of your offense. Felony DUI convictions and punishments are guided by your particular state’s laws.
WHAT MAKES A DUI A FELONY?
If you get a felony DUI it’s because you did something other than just drink and drive. Typical first offense DUIs are normally charged as misdemeanors, but if you are being charged with a felony DUI it’s because you may have done one or a combination of the following:
– If you were driving under the influence of alcohol and anyone other than yourself is injured in the course of an accident. The person injured could be your passenger, a person in another, or a pedestrian.
– In some states, if you have a minor in the vehicle at the time you were found to be driving and intoxicated, you could be charged with a felony DUI. Placing a minor in a perilous environment can also bring additional criminal charges on top of your felony DUI.
– In most states, if you are found to have caused property damage, whether it be to another car, a house, or even a streetlight you can expect to be charged with a felony DUI.
MISDEMEANOR DUI PUNISHMENTS VS. FELONY DUI PUNISHMENTS
Getting a straight misdemeanor DUI, where you were only found to be legally intoxicated and driving a vehicle, typically carries court fines that can total into the thousands of dollars, 1 day and up to 30 days of jail, 1-5 years probation, 30 days up to 1 year driver’s license suspension, and requires you to enroll in a DUI school. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device. Punishment will vary from state to state. It is a very good idea to consult with your DUI attorney to discuss your options.
Felony DUI is one of the worst crimes while driving that a person can commit. As such, the penalties for felony DUI or much steeper than a misdemeanor DUI. Felony DUI punishments can range from jail sentences to lengthy prison commitments, very expensive court fines, having your driver’s license suspended or revoked, the possibility of court-ordered substance-abuse treatment, and/or being required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle. In the most extreme cases, you may be ordered to impound or even forfeit your vehicle! Punishment will vary from state to state and it is a very good idea to consult with your DUI attorney to discuss your options.
It’s also important to remember that as a convicted felon, you will probably have a hard time finding a job and obtaining social services. Felons cannot own firearms, they are not allowed to vote, and it is often extremely difficult to have a felony expunged. Your felony DUI will follow you your entire life.