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When Is a DUI a Felony?

Is a DUI a Felony in California?

In California, the majority of DUIs are not felonies. A DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense, but it can be charged as a felony under certain circumstances. Only about 2-3% of all DUI arrests amount to felony DUI charges.

There are a few different factors that could enhance a misdemeanor drunk driving offense to a felony, including:

  • DUI accidents – those resulting in injury, great bodily injury, or death
  • DUI with priors – if you have three or more DUI convictions within the past 10 years
  • DUI with one or more prior felony drunk driving convictions

If the DUI involves aggravating factors such as excessive speed, reckless driving, or a high blood alcohol concentration, it can lead to enhanced penalties even if it is not charged as a felony.
It's important to note that the exact circumstances and penalties for a DUI charge can vary based on the individual case and the court's discretion. If you have been charged with a DUI in California, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified DUI attorney who can provide more information specific to your situation. Learn more about felony DUIs.

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