DUI Defense

California: When Does the DUI Go from a Misdemeanor to a Felony?

Driving drunk is risky business all around. Whether you have been out to dinner and imbibed moderately with a couple glasses of wine or a drink at the bar before or after, or whether you attended a part or event, the only factor that matters is whether your judgment is impaired. It is always best to err on the side of safety, although data shows that some drinkers do believe they can drive even if their blood alcohol limit is above the legal amount (and you may know some people who will brag they can drive if it is twice that even), and many friends do not argue with intoxicated friends getting behind the wheel for one reason or another.

The most important consideration when weighing out whether you should drive, is the potential for getting into a serious car accident and hurting or even killing someone else. In many cases, drivers have no idea what their blood alcohol concentration is (BAC), or that it is over the legal limit. There are portable breathalyzer devices you can purchase also to doublecheck; however, the best bet is just to abstain from alcohol before driving.

If you are stopped by local law enforcement and asked to take a sobriety test in the field, you may have to blow into a breathalyzer as well as prove that your motor skills are intact by walking the line, reciting the alphabet, touching your finger to your nose, and more. If you are charged, it is usually a misdemeanor in California—unless you have had multiple DUIs previously. If it is your first time being charged with DUI, however, and you have caused injury to someone else, the case may be considered a felony.

A DUI conviction can be damaging to your record, but a felony—for any type of criminal act—can make life very difficult later. It is hard to get a job as many companies will not hire felons (even for the most menial labor), landlords will not allow them to rent—even with a co-signer—and a multitude of other challenges will continue to occur.

If you have been arrested due to a DUI matter, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws and our office will provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.

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