Many different factors may contribute to pushing DUI charges from a misdemeanor to a felony, each of which presents its own legal challenges and opportunities. If you or someone you love faces felony DUI charges, it is absolutely crucial that you begin building a strong legal defense immediately. Felony DUI charges may not only result in financially unbearable penalties, they may also lead to lengthy incarceration and loss of unrelated privileges, such as the right to vote or own firearms.
It is very common to escalate charges if they arise in conjunction with an injury accident where some party suffers bodily harm, or if the driver receives DUI charges while a child is riding in the vehicle.
Felony DUI charges may also arise because of the driver surpassed certain legal thresholds. For instance, an officer may issue felony charges if he or she determines that a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is sufficiently above the legal limit to drive. This particular threshold changes from state to state but is generally roughly double the legal limit to drive. The standard legal limit for BAC while driving is usually .08 percent across all states, making the felony threshold roughly .16 percent.
Similarly, a driver may commit a violation that might normally only result in misdemeanor charges, but rises to a felony charge because the driver has prior DUI convictions on his or her driving record.
Each to these matters deserve careful consideration, to determine the weaknesses in the evidence against the driver and the potential defenses the driver may use to protect his or her rights and privileges. If you face such charges, do not hesitate to use every legal tool you have to fight the charges and keep your rights secure.
Source: FindLaw, "Felony DUI," accessed March 09, 2018