Drunk driving charges are always serious. In some circumstances, an individual accused of driving under the influence may face felony Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges. Felony DUI charges may be charged when injury has been caused, the accused individual has prior DUI convictions or when aggravating circumstances were present. Aggravating factors that may lead to a felony DUI charge can include having a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the height of blood alcohol content level measured or a history of driving on a suspended license.
By definition, under the criminal justice system, felony charges are more serious charges, and individuals facing them may face a year or longer in prison, as opposed to a misdemeanor charge that may be punished with a year or less in jail. In addition to incarceration, additional penalties and consequences can be associated with drunk driving charges. Individuals accused of a DUI may face high fines and a criminal record. Alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drugs can all lead to charges of impaired driving.
Felony criminal charges, such as felony drunk driving charges, can also have a significant negative impact on the future of the accused individual, who may be unable to vote because of a felony conviction. In addition, felonies can lead to challenges associated with employment, housing and education. In any circumstance when criminal charges are being faced, it is important to consider all potential challenges to the alleged evidence against the accused individual, including a violation of police procedures or the rights of the accused individual.
Based on the situation, it may be possible to reduce the charges the accused individual is facing or eliminate them altogether. Alternate penalties may also be possible as part of the plea negotiation process. Whatever the circumstances the accused individual is facing, it is important they are familiar with their rights and protections and know how to stand up for them when so much is on the line.