Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense
that can be prosecuted in many different ways. While standard first-time
DUIs are typically misdemeanor offenses, they can be prosecuted as felonies
when aggravating circumstances are involved. When felony charges do arise,
they subject convicted offenders to harsher penalties and to consequences
that can create enduring limitations, repercussions, and barriers. While
all cases are unique and entail different circumstances, the following
situations and offenses often result in felony allegations:
In Georgia, a driver can be charged with a
felony DUI when they are convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense within 10
years of a previous DUI conviction. This fourth-time felony DUI law was
passed in 2008 in response to statewide efforts to intensify penalties
for habitual offenders. Additionally, individuals convicted of a DUI with
child endangerment at any point in their lifetime will also face felony
allegations if they are charged with DUI child endangerment a third time.
Anyone who has been convicted of any type of felony DUI will also face
felony allegations for new DUI charges.
DUI Causing Serious Injury
DUIs resulting in accidents that seriously injure others can also subject
alleged offenders to felony charges. As causing harm to others is considered
a reckless, egregious act of carelessness, Georgia laws have made the
point to prosecute offenders with heightened charges and penalties.
DUI Causing Death
DUIs causing death are the most serious
driving under the influence charges one can face. Known as DUI manslaughter, this felony offense will
be prosecuted when a driver causes death while driving their vehicle under
the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI manslaughter is punishable by prison
terms between 3 and 15 years.
If you or someone that you care about is facing a felony DUI allegation,
please be aware that there is a great deal riding on your case. In addition
to hefty fines and potentially lengthy terms of imprisonment, felony convictions
are also viewed distastefully by society at large, including potential
employers, landlords, and others who conduct background checks.
By understanding the penalties at stake in your case, you should feel the
necessary urgency to work with a proven DUI attorney who has the experience,
the resources, and the capability to fight effectively on your behalf.
To learn more about felony DUI charges and how the Law Offices of Howard
J. Weintraub can help, bring your case to the attention of a seasoned
Atlanta DUI lawyer today.