We all make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes can turn into more severe consequences. If you might have had a few too many to drink before getting behind the wheel and were apprehended by authorities, you could be facing a slew of legal issues and potential consequences. With all of the legislation cracking down on DUI and DWI offenders in recent years, how serious could your DUI charge be?
The good news is that DUI is generally treated as a misdemeanor, not a felony. Misdemeanors have less potential consequences than a felony conviction would have. If you were pulled over and charged with DUI for the first time, it is almost always considered a misdemeanor charge. However, certain situations can exacerbate this and a first time DUI offender could be facing a felony charge, not a misdemeanor.
If your DUI charge was in connection with a car accident or other incident in which a suspected intoxicated driver injured someone, it is almost always a candidate for felony DUI. Felony DUI has consequence that could include over a year or more in jail while misdemeanors are punishable by less than one year in jail if convicted. Also if a person was driving on a suspended license or had a child in the car at the time, this can elevate the charge from misdemeanor to felony. Usually all individuals arrested on suspicion of DUI will spend at least one night in jail while their charge is processed.
Misdemeanors are exactly what they sound like, a lesser charge that has lesser consequences than felony DUI would have if convicted. However, a conviction of either can have a lasting impact on a person's future, not just the legal implications. It can affect a person's ability to get a job and it can even impact aspects of child custody arrangements if a person has a child raised in separate households. It's important to understand the other potential consequence of DUI conviction, misdemeanor or felony.
Source: dui.findlaw.com, "When is a DUI a Misdemeanor?," Accessed January 22, 2018