Monday, June 18, 2012

Is a DUI a Felony in California?

No, not generally.  A simple DUI, which is codified as a Vehicle Code section 23152 is a misdemeanor in the state of California for all purposes.  The only time a DUI can become a felony is if someone was injured or seriously hurt or of the person charged has 3 or more prior DUI convictions in a 10 year period.  Some believe that the California DUI laws make a DUI a felony if your breath or blood test is very high, say above a .20%.  This is again false, according to one Manhattan Beach DUI Attorney who has defended thousands of these types of cases.  The BAC level will determine the kind of punishment that a judge will impose, such as a longer DUI school or a higher fine or some jail time but the blood alcohol level alone cannot turn a misdemeanor DUI into a felony anywhere in the state of California.  The best advice is to consult with a local lawyer who can go over potential penalties and consequences that may flow form a driving under the influence arrest,  Once you have this information you can make informed decisions about which way you may want to take the case, say a plea bargain or going to jury trial.