California severely punishes felony DUI cases. Convictions for felony driving under the influence for four or more DUI offenses within a ten-year period involve serious penalties, depending on the reason the case is charged as a felony.
Felony DUI (Four or More Convictions)
If you are charged with DUI and have suffered three or more prior convictions, you will be charged with felony DUI. In a typical felony DUI that does not involve injury or death, you face the following sentencing possibilities:
- 16 months, two years, or three years in the state prison;
- Between $390 and $1,000 base fine, plus penalty assessments and various court fines and fees that significantly increase the actual cost;
- Revocation of driver’s license for four years;
- Habitual Traffic Offender designation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles;
Felony DUI (DUI with Injury)
A driver accused of a California DUI resulting in injury (but not death) to one or more persons faces:
- 16 months, two years, or three years in the state prison, plus an additional one to six year prison sentence depending in the number of persons injured and the extent of the injuries;
- Between $1,015 and $5,000 base fine, plus penalty assessments and various court fines and fees that significantly increase the actual cost;
- A court approved 18 to 30-month drug/alcohol program;
- RRestitution payable to the injured parties to compensate them for all of their losses;
- Habitual Traffic Offender designation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles for three years; and
- A possible “strike” for purposes of California’s Three Strikes Law
Felony DUI Resulting in Death
If you are accused of driving under the influence causing death, the charges will likely include an allegation of either murder or vehicular manslaughter and the consequences can be harsh. Possibly penalties include imprisonment in the state prison for life and a “strike” on your record pursuant to California’s Three Strikes Law.
While drivers charged with murder are often charged with second-degree “Watson Murder,” prosecutors in some counties have been charging drivers with first-degree murder.
If you have been charged with felony DUI, you should choose an experienced DUI attorney to represent you. If you call our office, we will provide a free office consultation. We are available to represent clients in Orange County, Riverside County, and most parts of Los Angeles County.