Felony DUI and Prison Sentence
As a result of a recent Court ruling, California must reduce its prison population by 37,000 inmates in the next two years. The court ruling was based on the fact that the inmate population was twice the number of people for which the state's prisons were built. This amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and violated the Constitution. Gov. Jerry Brown has already taken some steps to reduce the prison population. He signed a bill in May to transfer thousands of state prisoners to county jails. However, it is going to be a very difficult task to comply with the strict schedule established by the court ruling.
A DUI in California is typically filed as a misdemeanor and state prison time is not relevant. However, a DUI may be filed as a felony, thereby exposing the defendant to the risk of a state prison sentence, if the defendant has three or more prior misdemeanor DUI convictions within ten years, or there is a traffic collision alleged involving personal injuries to a third party. In Los Angeles, the District Attorneys Office has a policy of filing felony proceedings if the injuries alleged are more than minor. A felony DUI in Los Angeles may result in a state prison sentence of at least 18 months and over three years if the injuries amount to great bodily injury.
If you are facing a felony prosecution, please call Los Angeles and Orange County felony DUI lawyers, Gold & Witham for a free consultation.