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Sep 11 / Dale Harris

Is DUI Felony or Misdemeanor?

DUI refers to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is an illegal activity of driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs like marijuana or opium or alcohol. If you are charged for driving under the influence then the case may be filed as DUI felony or misdemeanor.

DUI Felony Vs Misdemeanor
Majority of the drunk driving cases are charged as DUI misdemeanor only a few cases where severe injury or death of the person involved then it will be charged as DUI felony.

There are some differences between the DUI felony and misdemeanor. These include:

  • Based on the previous DUI convictions: Whether DUI is a felony or misdemeanor can be determined based on the previous DUI convictions you had. DUI felony charge is imposed when it is the drivers third or fourth DUI offense. It is imposed if it is the drivers fourth offense within a period of ten years. DUI misdemeanor charge is imposed when it is the drivers first DUI offense.
  • Based on the severity of injury: Based on the severity of injury also DUI charge can be differentiated into felony or misdemeanor. An individual will be charged for DUI felony if he or she driving the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes severe injury or death of victim. An individual will be charged for misdemeanor if driving under the influence suspects to cause any damage or minor injury.
  • Based on the type and length of punishment for the crime: DUI misdemeanor carry the possibility of incarceration in the local jail for a period of not more than one year where as felony result in the state jail for a period of more than one year depends on the severity of injury. Penalty for misdemeanor includes suspension of driving license, jail time, community services and installation of ignition interlock devices where as penalty for felony is harsh than misdemeanor. In addition to those mentioned, felony charge may also lose many civil rights like right to vote. Driving license will be suspended for many years as compared to misdemeanor charge.
  • Expungement of crime from records: Expungement is the removal of convicted crime from the records so that the crime will no longer be available no the records. Misdemeanor crime can be expunged from the records where as felony can not be expunged from the records.

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