A DUI offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, there are many ways that driving under the influence of alcohol can be elevated to a felony.
When someone is charged with their third DUI within ten years, they are charged with a felony offense. If they were previously convicted of a felony DUI, any subsequent DUI arrest is a felony DUI. Also, any DUI that involves the injury of another person can lead to a felony DUI maiming or a DUI manslaughter charge.
While misdemeanor DUIs are very serious, the differences between a misdemeanor and felony DUIs are significant. A felony DUI carries a maximum of five years in prison as opposed to one year in jail for a misdemeanor DUI. Felony DUIs carry significant amounts of mandatory minimum jail time, in some cases as much as one year.
Another aspect of a felony DUI is that the prosecution is required to prove additional elements that often include proving previous DUI convictions. In the case of a jury trial, one of the previous DUI convictions has to be proven that can affect the outcome of the pending case.
If you are facing felony charges, contact a dedicated Brunswick County felony DUI lawyer today. A seasoned DUI attorney could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable resolution to your case.
One of the first things an attorney does when preparing a defense for felony DUI charges is to gather as much information as possible from the defendant, law enforcement, the prosecutor, and witnesses who might have observed the events leading to the arrest. The more information the attorney gathers, the more effective the investigation will be in preparation for the defense. Time is often very critical in these cases. Therefore, it is crucial for a defendant to seek the services of a felony DUI lawyer in Brunswick County right away.
The stakes are higher in felony DUI charges. Felony DUI charges often require proving past DUI convictions. The introduction of past DUI convictions can prejudice the minds of the judge or jury deciding the case based on the fact that the defendant was previously found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a DUI. It is difficult to separate that in the minds of the judge or jury so they only consider the facts of the pending DUI.
A felony DUI in Brunswick County carries up to a maximum of five years in prison. The individual’s license is suspended indefinitely and they are prohibited from petitioning the court to have their driving privileges reinstated for a five-year period. The defendant will face expensive fines as well. Finally, felony DUIs often have mandatory minimum time as long as 90 days and sometimes as much as a year.
An experienced DUI lawyer who has defended many people charged with DUIs is familiar with the relevant case law and successful defenses. A local DUI lawyer is familiar with the prosecutors, courthouse personnel, and law enforcement, and is able to prepare for the best possible outcome in the case.
If you are facing charges, call an accomplished Brunswick County felony DUI lawyer today.
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