Most Sacramento DUI charges are considered misdemeanors. However, in some cases, circumstances dictate an escalation of the drunk driving charge to a felony. Felony DUI cases can be very complex and the conviction penalties can be much more severe. DUI with injury is a felony offense, as is a fourth DUI offense and cases of vehicular homicide.
If you, or someone you know, is dealing with a felony DUI arrest in Sacramento or nearby areas, the Law Office of John Campanella is very experienced in the defense of clients facing charges of felony drunk driving. Mr. Campanella knows how to break down each case into its component steps, in order to provide the best possible representation, attend DMV hearings on your behalf, and to expose weaknesses and flaws in the traffic stop, questioning, testing, arrest and detainment stages.
Sacramento Misdemeanor Charges vs. Felony DUI
A misdemeanor is a greater offense than an infraction (for example, red light violation), but a lesser than a felony charge. Each of these charges carries an increasingly serious potential penalty. Whereas a misdemeanor may carry a punishment of up to one year in jail, a felony may have a minimum punishment of one year in prison. Some of the more serious DUI felony offenses may result in many years of confinement in a state facility, even life in prison or the death penalty.
Felony DUI Sentencing has a lower, middle and upper term for the court to select in sentencing. If you are not granted probation then lower term is 16 months, middle term is 2 years and upper term is 3 years. However, felony DUI sentences can be longer than 3 years if there are additional enhancements alleged such as; Great Bodily Injury or multiple parties were injured.
While it is unlikely that a felony DUI offense would result in the death penalty, a convicted driver may face up to four or up to 10 years confinement in state prison for a more serious charge – vehicular manslaughter, for example. Even a fourth DUI conviction may draw a sentence of up to three years in prison. DUI causing injury may draw a three year sentence, with additional three years added in the event of serious bodily injury to the victim.