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DUI Charges

Felony DUI Attorney in San Diego

Protect Your Freedom & Future: Call (619) 304-9190

In California, most driving under the influence (DUI) cases are charged as misdemeanors, which impose possible terms of imprisonment of up to 1 year in a county jail, among other penalties. Under some circumstances, however, DUIs may be elevated to felony crimes.

As the most serious charge a person can face in the criminal justice system, felonies are known for their severe and often life-altering penalties, including what can be substantial terms of incarceration in a state prison. If you or someone you love has been charged with a felony DUI, the need for immediate and experience criminal defense cannot be understated.

At Premier Criminal Defense, LLC, our San Diego DUI lawyers have experience protecting the rights, freedoms, and futures of clients charged with all types of DUI allegations, including the most serious felony offenses. Because the stakes are high when prosecutors choose to file felony allegations, we work zealously to guide our clients through their legal journeys and toward the most favorable resolutions possible – whether that means reduced charges or penalties, alternative sentencing, or case dismissals.

Why Choose Premier Criminal Defense, LLC?

  • Decades of Experience in Criminal Law & DUI Defense
  • Led By a Former Criminal Prosecutor (Attorney Thomas Slattery)
  • Personalized Service & Tailored Legal Strategies
  • 24/7 Availability and Affordable Legal Services

Facing felony DUI allegations? Do not wait to speak with a proven DUI defense lawyer. Premier Criminal Defense, LLC is available 24/7 and offers no-cost case evaluations. Call (619) 304-9190 to get started.

Felony DUI Charges in California

Being arrested for DUI can result in a number of distinct criminal charges. In many cases, these charges are misdemeanors. However, there are a few circumstances that can result in felony level allegations. These include:

  • A Fourth DUI – In California, you can be charged with a felony for a fourth DUI offense. This means that if you are apprehended for DUI and have been convicted of DUI (or an equivalent conviction) three times within the past 10 years, you will be charged with a felony. Under state law, these prior convictions can include California DUIs, out-of-state DUIs, and priorable related offenses, such as a “wet reckless.” A fourth DUI can subject defendants to fines, mandatory DUI school, a 4-year driver’s license suspension, and terms of imprisonment for 16 months, or 2 to 3 years in a state prison.
  • Previous Felony DUI – If you have been convicted of a felony DUI at any time in the past and for any reason, you can be charged with a felony DUI upon a new arrest, even if that arrest involves circumstances that would typically make it a misdemeanor, and even if it was beyond the state’s 10-year lookback period.
  • DUI Resulting in Injury – DUIs resulting in injuries are grounds for felony charges. Because this offense is considered a “wobbler,” there is some discretion (and opportunity for negotiation) to reduce charges to a misdemeanor. However, the individual facts of a case (such as serious or multiple injuries, prior convictions, and more) can result in felony charges and penalties that include substantial fines, court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment, a possible “strike” on your criminal record, and between 16 months to 10 years in a state prison.
  • DUI Causing Death – DUIs resulting in death make for the most serious and severely punished DUI allegations one can face. Under California law, there are several crimes that may be charged following fatal DUI accidents, including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, both of which can carry substantial prison sentences in a state prison. In some cases, particularly those where defendants have been previously convicted of DUI, prosecutors may choose to charge defendants with Watson murder, or simply DUI murder, which is prosecuted under California’s PC 187 murder law. This is because all individuals convicted of DUI in California are given a special advisement warning them about drunk driving and potential murder charges should they drive under the influence again and cause a fatal crash. Watson murder is punishable by a 15-to-life prison sentence.

Premier Criminal Defense, LLC: Put Proven Advocates on Your Side

Felony DUI charges, like any felony allegation, are the most serious and harshly punished charges you can face, and they demand immediate and decision action. In addition to considerable fines and related expenses, lengthy terms of imprisonment, and multi-year license suspensions, felony convictions can also result in a loss of one’s civil rights, including the right to vote and purchase or possess a firearm. Felonies have also been known to create substantial limitations when it comes to employment, and are often grounds for termination or the loss of a professional license in many fields.

With so much on the line, anyone who has been charged with a felony DUI, or who has a loved one facing felony DUI charges, should be intent on working with proven defense attorneys. Backed by years of insight and experience, our legal team is equipped with the tools to defend our clients’ rights at every stage of the criminal process, and to fight for the best possible outcome in their cases.

If you wish to discuss felony DUI charges and how our firm can help, do not hesitate to call (619) 304-9190 or contact us online for a no-cost, confidential case evaluation. Our team is available 24/7.

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