In most cases, those who are charged with a DUI are charged with a misdemeanor. However, it is possible that the charge could be elevated to a felony if certain criteria are met. For instance, those who have a blood alcohol content level significantly higher than .08 percent may be charged with a felony. Those who have been convicted of DUI in the past may also face harsher penalties for a new charge even if they have only been charged once in the past 10 years.
An impaired driver who causes bodily harm in a collision may face a felony charge of DUI. In some cases, the prosecutor may have discretion as to whether to increase the severity of the charge if a drunk driver hurts someone else while impaired. Furthermore, it may be necessary to prove that the driver in question actually caused the injuries that occurred during a crash.
Those who have children in the car while driving under the influence could face enhanced penalties regardless of what their blood alcohol content was while behind the wheel. Similarly, anyone who is charged with a DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license faces increased odds of increased penalties.
Those who have been charged with driving while intoxicated could face serious penalties if convicted. Therefore, it is often advisable to consult with an attorney who might create a defense strategy that may cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. In some cases, it can be argued that a driver was suffering from a medical condition that mimicked signs of impairment or that a blood or breath test was administered incorrectly. In other instances, an attorney may choose to seek an arrangement with the prosecutor that would involve the defendant pleading guilty to a reduced or lesser charge.