Driving while intoxicated(DWI) is mostly charged as an unclassified misdemeanor. However, a driver who commits more than one DWI within ten years can be charged with a DWI felony. A DWI to be classified as a felony depends on several prior convictions and the time the last DWI happened. If you get convicted of DWI multiple times, it is to re-licensure cancellation.
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While DUIs are consistently serious, specific circumstances can greatly influence how a driver is handled legally and the severity of charges they might encounter in court.
Many states establish laws outlining the potential charges drivers might confront based on their previous DUI convictions. In some cases, drivers might face repeated misdemeanor charges, with the offense escalating to a felony following the third or fourth instance, as specified by state statutes.
While driving with a BAC (blood alcohol level) of 0.08 is considered a criminal offense, numerous drunk driving accidents happen when drivers operate vehicles with BAC levels two to three times the legal limit. In certain cases, charges can be heightened if the BAC is 0.15 or higher.
For example, in Idaho, if your second DUI involves a BAC of 0.20 or more and your second offense within five years, you could face a minimum fine of $5,000 and a prison term ranging from 30 days to five years. Additionally, your license could be suspended for one to five years, and an ignition lock may be required.
The gravest circumstance that often leads to DUI charges becoming felonies is when the incident results in severe bodily harm or a fatality. In certain states, a driver might be charged with a significant DUI offense and face separate charges for each individual harmed or killed due to their actions. The outcome could be substantial prison sentences, fines, and obligatory restitution payments to the victims or their families.
Having a DUI record, particularly with multiple convictions, frequently leads to license suspension or revocation. Combining a DUI with unlawful driving could escalate misdemeanor charges to felonies. In certain states, such as Arizona, driving without a license while having a DUI is an automatic felony, entailing obligatory prison sentences and prolonged license revocation.
While losing your license due to a DUI or DWI conviction is inconvenient, persistently driving under the influence when prohibited can exacerbate the situation.
Certain states consider a DUI occurring in the presence of a minor under 16 years old as grounds for immediate felony charges. Driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle leads to DUI allegations and child endangerment charges. For instance, in California, being found guilty of felony child endangerment due to a DUI offense could result in a potential prison term of up to six years.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is typically charged as a misdemeanor, but it can aggrevate to a felony under certain circumstances. Multiple prior convictions, a high blood alcohol level (BAC), causing harm or death, driving with revoked licenses, or having minors in the vehicle can elevate DWI charges. Legal consequences escalate, potentially leading to severe penalties like substantial fines, extended prison terms, and license revocation. Seeking legal counsel is vital to navigating the complexities of DWI cases.
Angela Spearman is a journalist at EzineMark who enjoys writing about the latest trending technology and business news.