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Is a DUI a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence in Oakland, you may be wondering, “Will I be charged with a misdemeanor?” Depending on the facts of your case, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs) under Vehicle Code 23152(a) is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. "What if I was arrested with a 0.15% or 0.18% BAC? Does a high BAC subject me to felony charges?"

The same goes for someone charged with DUI involving a high BAC, which is would be any over .08% under Vehicle Code 23152(b) – a high BAC DUI is a misdemeanor as well.

When a DUI Charge Can be a Felony

On the other hand, a DUI can be elevated to a felony when there are “aggravated” circumstances present, such as:

  • You have three or more wet reckless or DUI convictions in the last 10 years.
  • Someone else was injured as a result of your driving under the influence.
  • Someone else was killed because you were driving under the influence.

Were you involved in a DUI accident where someone else, such as one of your passengers, a pedestrian, cyclist, or another driver was killed? If your accident caused injury or deathor if this was your fourth DUI, then you will likely be facing felony DUI charges. If your BAC was 0.20 or higher, you may also be facing felony DUI charges.

It is also important to know that even a misdemeanor DUI can be traumatic—especially if you lose your license or are forced to pay heavy fines. Without an experienced Oakland DUI lawyer on your side, you may receive harsher consequences than you deserve. You need someone on your side that is ready and willing to fight for you and your rights after a DUI arrest.

Contact an Oakland DUI Defense Attorney

Assuming this is your first DUI and no none was injured or killed, it should be a misdemeanor. Your DUI can be charged as a felony if this is your fourth or subsequent DUI within 10 years, or if someone else was injured or killed.

Remember that for sentencing purposes, a wet reckless is a “priorable offense,” which means it will count against you as a prior DUI if you’re later convicted of DUI.

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony DUI charges, you want to speak with an experienced local DUI defense attorney. At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, we can offer you a free case evaluation where you can learn which DUI defense strategies we would use to help you.

Whatever you do, don’t plead guilty or no contest. If you do that, you are guaranteed a conviction and you would never know what defenses were available. Call now for a hard-hitting DUI defense!

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