the State Bar of California
the San Diego Union-Tribune
The Press-Enterprise

Felony Driving Under the Influence Offenses

Felony driving under the influence cases typically come about in one of several ways. These felony cases are substantially more serious than the typical misdemeanor DUI, or even multiple offender DUI misdemeanor cases. In some cases, you could be facing a strike offense pursuant to the California Three Strikes Law and the reality of serving custody time in state prison. The consequences can be lasting and severe.

One way a driving under the influence charge may arise to the level of a felony is where you have suffered three prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or any “wet reckless” convictions in the past ten-year period and are arrested for a fourth driving under the influence case, also within the same ten-year window. In this circumstance, the law states that the prosecution may elect to file the fourth driving under the influence case as a felony. Another instance in which driving under the influence may arise to the level of a felony is where someone is killed or seriously injured as a result of the incident. Finally, if you have suffered a previous felony conviction for driving under the influence at any time, any DUI in the future – regardless of how minor or serious – will also be filed as a felony.

Felony driving under the influence cases are some of the most highly emotional cases with a wide-range of potential consequences and punishments available, depending upon the particular circumstances of each case. To a large extent, the consequences depend heavily upon the specific criminal charges that are filed by the prosecuting agency, as well as the circumstances of the offense itself, the extent and gravity of the harm suffered by the alleged victim(s), and the nature and extent of the defendant’s prior criminal history, if any.

For many people facing felony driving under the influence charges, treatment addressing the underlying issues related to addiction and substance abuse is highly recommended and desirable. Treatment comes in many forms and assistance with finding treatment programs suitable for many different needs is available through a variety of resources, both publicly and privately, and even through some medical insurance providers. Additionally, there are some programs offered through the courts that may be available to you, which strive to help individuals gain the tools necessary to understand and overcome addiction and help them achieve and maintain their sobriety. You can rest assured we are here to support and encourage your personal growth and development in this regard as well.

At the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC, we understand how challenging it can be to navigate the overwhelming legal, emotional, financial, and personal implications involved in these situations and we are here to help you. If you have already been charged or anticipate being charged with a felony DUI in the Murrieta area, contact your Murrieta DUI lawyer at the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC for your free, confidential case consultation now. Your future and your freedom deserve to be taken seriously by an experienced attorney who is committed to quality representation and compassionate advocacy, every step of the way.

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