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Southern California Felony DUI

DUI - Felony vs. Misdemeanor

DUI offenses are categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on a variety of factors. A misdemeanor conviction will likely result in a lighter sentence whereas a felony conviction will result in much harsher punishment, especially when there is significant bodily harm. Drivers who have been involved in accidents are exposed to greater potential charges, particularly if the accident resulted in injury to a passenger or other party.

California Vehicle Code 23153 is the code section under which a felony DUI is charged. Section 23153 (a) reads: It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver. Section 23153(b) reads: It is unlawful for any person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

As the Vehicle Code states, you may be charged with a felony DUI if there was a certain type of bodily injury to a victim. For example, a minor soft tissue injury with mild discomfort is still considered a bodily injury, but one that is less severe compared to a fracture or major internal injury, which would yield much harsher punishments in the eyes of the law. Bodily injury spans a wide spectrum and often guides the prosecutor in the type of plea bargain they present to the Judge.

Experienced Felony DUI Attorneys Defend You

The experienced DUI attorneys at Hoffman & Associates proactively work to get felony DUI charges reduced to misdemeanors because the exposure to our client is dramatically different. We understand how critical it is to carefully review any accident reports or other evidence and determine a strategy to minimize the consequences of a felony DUI charge.

For example, our firm recently represented a client facing felony DUI charges due to the alleged injuries from an accident. We carefully evaluated the nature and extent of the soft tissue injury that was claimed and found it to be significantly less serious than how it was portrayed in the officer's summary in the police report. By obtaining all of the appropriate records, we were able to prove to the district attorney that the apparent injury to the victim was far less serious than initially documented by the officer. As a result, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the DUI charges to a simple misdemeanor, resulting in no jail time for the client.

While there are many strategies available for a DUI defense, only a knowledgeable felony DUI lawyer can fight to get your charge reduced to a misdemeanor or avoid a conviction entirely. Felony DUI is a serious charge, and one that can affect your career, education and your life. It pays to hire a qualified California DUI attorney so that you understand your options and what defenses are available defenses. There is no substitute for the help of a knowledgeable legal professional when you are facing DUI charges.

People make mistakes, but the DUI attorneys at Hoffman & Associates find ways to be proactive and demonstrate to the prosecutor and court that you are a good person and we fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact our offices today to schedule your phone or office consultation. Our DUI attorneys can represent you in Los Angeles, San Diego and courts throughout California.