DUI Felony Defense Requires Specialized Representation
You absolutely must find a heavyweight DUI lawyer if you have been charged with one or more felony DUIs. A misdemeanor DUI can be a raised to a felony DUI offense if you have multiple DUI convictions in a certain timeframe, or you caused serious injury or death to people in your car, in other cars, or to pedestrians. Most people charged with DUI face misdemeanor charges, but they still need a proven DUI attorney to fight to reduce or eliminate this misdemeanor.
An enhanced DUI-DWI offense is an ordinary misdemeanor DUI-DWI offense that is transformed into a higher class of misdemeanor or even a possible DUI felony by the allegation and proof of certain pre-existing conditions or circumstances. A common circumstance is the existence of one or more prior DUI misdemeanor convictions. Enhanced offenses are punishable by more severe penalties than ordinary, first lifetime, misdemeanor drinking and driving offenses.
Felony DUI Penalties Can Be Reduced
In most jurisdictions, due to federal “carrot-and-stick” legislation, the state laws relating to DUI-DWI have “minimum mandatory” punishment guidelines that prevent a judge from handing out a light punishment during DUI sentencing. These guidelines also may call for moving repeat offender misdemeanors into a higher “classification” of misdemeanor, or even demand that yet another DUI is a felony DUI.
For a misdemeanor DUI-DWI, the typical maximum period of incarceration is 12 months. However, DUI-DWI offenders with repeated DUI arrests face FELONY punishment for a third, fourth (or in some states) even a SECOND offense.
The Difference Between Enhanced DUI and Aggravated DUI
Enhanced drinking and driving offenses should not be confused with aggravated DUI-DWI criminal offenses. An aggravated DUI-DWI criminal offense occurs when the defendant, while driving under the influence of alcohol, is involved in an accident wherein another person is seriously injured or killed. Aggravated DUI-DWI offenses are usually called “vehicular manslaughter,” “homicide by vehicle,” “serious injury by vehicle,” and (in some jurisdictions) “murder.” These “aggravated” or “serious” driving cases are DUI felonies in virtually every instance, and require some proof that you were either impaired by alcohol or drugs, or had a “per se” blood alcohol level equal to or above the applicable BAC legal limit.
Whether you face a DUI misdemeanor or felony you MUST hire the best DUI lawyer you can afford. Money spent on a hard-working DUI attorney always beats money spent later on unnecessary fines, court costs, and DUI school.