When Does A Misdemeanor Become A Felony with DUIs

Driving under the influence is a serious crime that can have severe consequences. But what happens when a DUI charge goes from being a misdemeanor to becoming a felony? Understanding the difference between these two classifications can help you prepare for your case and the potential penalties you might face.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony DUI Charges:

In most states, a first and second DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor. However, if certain factors are present in the case, such as causing injury or death, having prior convictions, or having an excessively high blood alcohol level (BAC), then it may be charged as a felony. The classification of the offense depends on state laws and other individual circumstances.

Factors That Can Elevate A Misdemeanor Charge To A Felony:

Several factors could lead to an elevated charge from a misdemeanor to a felony, including repeat offenses, excessive speeding or reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, causing severe bodily harm or death while driving under the influence, and having children in the car at the time of the arrest. These aggravating factors can result in harsher penalties and longer jail sentences.

Penalties For Felony DUI Convictions:

The penalties for felony DUI convictions can vary depending on jurisdiction and individual circumstances. In general, however, they often include heavier fines and longer jail sentences than those imposed for misdemeanor DUI charges. Additionally, some states may require mandatory rehabilitation programs or community service as part of their sentencing requirements.

Defenses Against Elevated Charges:

If you are facing elevated charges for your DUI offense, defenses may still be available. A skilled DUI defense attorney can help identify these defenses and argue them in court on your behalf. These defenses could include challenging evidence obtained during an unlawful search or seizure or arguing that law enforcement conducted an improper traffic stop.

Milwaukee DUI Defense in Wisconsin

If you or a loved one are navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system in Sheboygan, WI, and require expert legal assistance, Melowski & Singh, LLC is here to help. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys understand the nuances of crime classification and are dedicated to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us at (920) 294-1414 to discuss your legal options and take the first step towards a brighter future.