Attorney David Chesley's Criminal Defense Blog

Is your DUI a felony or misdemeanor?

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If this is your first DUI, you might be confused and not know what to expect. When you call our law firm, one of the first things we’ll ask is if your DUI is a felony or misdemeanor. Usually it is a misdemeanor, which means an attorney can take care of your DUI without you having to set foot in the courtroom. But there are some instances where it can be a felony. For example: if someone was injured or killed during the incident, if this is your fourth (or more) DUI within 10 years, or if you’ve had a prior DUI felony conviction. A felony DUI means the sentence can be more severe if found guilty.

A recent example of what might become a DUI felony took place in San Ramon, California. 3- year-old Elijah Dunn was killed in a crash earlier this month, by a suspected drunk driver. According to KRON, California Highway Patrol arrested 39-year-old Yarenit Malihan after her Toyota Sequoia crashed into a Toyota Camry. The victims were parked on the shoulder of the highway after their vehicle ran out of gas. Inside the Camry was Elijah, his younger sister, his older brother, and his mother. All three children were taken to a nearby hospital, where Elijah later died. The mother of the children was taken to John Muir Medical Center with serious injuries.

In this situation, if Malihan is charged and convicted with DUI it will most likely be a felony. Not only that, but because there was a death involved she might receive additional charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, her sentence for this may include prison time, license suspension, and/or probation.

Whether your DUI is a felony or misdemeanor, it is always a good investment to hire an attorney to help you with your case. Here at the Law Office of David S. Chesley, attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience, are well established, and are reputable with DA’s and judges all over California. We also take care of the DMV portion of your case, which includes scheduling and taking care of your DMV hearing.

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