In most cases, driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime prosecuted as a misdemeanor. In cases involving aggravating circumstances, however, the state of Georgia can prosecute DUIs as felonies. Felony offenses are viewed as more serious crimes than misdemeanors and impose harsher penalties, including longer terms of imprisonment.
Here are a few examples that may be grounds for Felony DUI charges:
- Four DUI Convictions - Motorists in Georgia can face felony charges for being habitual DUI offenders if they have been arrested for DUI and have three DUI convictions within the past 10 years. Individuals convicted of a fourth DUI within 10 years can face a minimum of one year imprisonment, among other penalties.
- DUI Accidents - Depending on the unique facts of a case, motorists who cause serious accidents while under the influence can face felony charges. Typically, prosecutors will charge drivers with felonies if they cause accidents that result in serious injuries or death. Penalties in these instances are among the most severe of any DUI charge.
- Transporting Minors - Georgia prosecutors may choose to charge drivers arrested for DUI with child passengers in some cases, including cases involving accidents or excessively high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels.
Although there are several circumstances that may result in felony DUI charges, it is important to remember that every case is different and that the unique facts and circumstances of your case will ultimately determine the severity of your charges.
Obtaining experienced legal representation as soon as possible after your DUI arrest can make the difference in your case, including the possibility that charges are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors or dismissed and defeated entiteley.
If you are currently facing felony DUI charges in Atlanta or the surroudning areas of Georgia, speaking with a proven DUI defense attorney should be your top priority. Felony level crimes impose some of the harshest penalties, and are viewed negatively by those who base decisions on criminal records, including prosepective employers.
To discuss your case and defense, contact The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson for a FREE consultation.