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Is DUI a Felony in California?


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An arrest on a DUI felony or misdemeanor charge is a traumatic experience that can send shockwaves through many areas of your life. The embarrassment, shame and repercussions to job and social standing are the same no matter whether this is your first or subsequent arrest. It is important to consider hiring a skilled felony DUI lawyer who can navigate the complex legal issues for you.

Contact us at the earliest
to speak with Ventura drunk driving lawyer
at 805-477-0070.
Receive a complimentary consultation.

Whenever such a situation arises and you are facing a DUI felony charge, do not hesitate to get someone on your side that is willing to fight hard for your rights.

DUI is typically classified as a misdemeanor with several important exceptions.

If a driver is convicted for the fourth time for driving under the influence charges within a span of ten years, it is considered a felony DUI. A felony is punishable by imprisonment in a California prison, with sentencing depending on a number of factors.

  • If a driver has other DUI convictions from one or more states, then additional drunk driving charges can end up result a DUI felony. This is especially true if someone is killed or injured by a drunken driver who already has DUI convictions inked into their record.
  • If the driver of a vehicle is under the influence of alcohol and drugs and violates traffic laws, commits an illegal act while driving, or causes an accident with injuries, then this act bumps the DUI over to the felony column. On the other hand, if an accident occurred, but was not due to the fault of the drunk driver, then only misdemeanor charges may be applicable.
  • When the driver of a commercial vehicle, which requires a class A or B license, has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent or more and consequently causes an injury or injuries by neglecting any duty which has been imposed by the law then the crime becomes ratcheted up to a felony.
  • If a driver is convicted of felony drunk driving, subsequent convictions face stiffer penalties. The state of California shows little mercy for these offenses and a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer is a must.

Felony charges are classified under six types. They are as follows:

  • Class 1 may include life imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Class 2 felony means life imprisonment or minimum of 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Class 3 felony may result in imprisonment for 5 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Class 4 felony may mean a sentence of 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Class 5 felony may result in one to ten years in prison, a year in jail, a fine of $2,500 or both.
  • Class 6 felony attracts the least punishment resulting in imprisonment for one to 5 years or a one year jail term, and/or a fine of approximately $2,500.

Speak with a felony DUI lawyer to discuss your particular case. In some cases, charges can be reduced or punishments mitigated. An attorney familiar with the players in the local judicial system can offer you the insider knowledge to give your case the best chance possible.

Call now for a misdemeanor or
felony DUI attorney at 805-477-0070.
Receive a complimentary consultation for your case.

Strongest Defense offers experienced defense against felony DUI, misdemeanor DUI, and other criminal charges in California. No attorney or law firm can make any promises or guarantee an outcome for your criminal case. The contents presented on this site are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Visiting this website does not establish an attorney/client relationship.