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Felony DUI and the Three ways to get There

Felony DUI’s and the Three Ways to Get There

Many people in California know someone who has been arrested for or convicted of a DUI. Some people even know a bit about felony DUI’s. Most commonly a DUI becomes a felony when an injury is caused. California Vehicle Code Section 23153 covers the felony DUI from injuries. These cases can be either misdemeanors or felonies depending upon the extent of the injuries. In extreme cases, the offense can even be a strike where there is great bodily injury or death. As a misdemeanor there is still mandatory jail time and a mandatory license suspension.
Next, a DUI can be a felony if the defendant has three prior DUI’s in the last ten years. The fourth DUI will be charged as a felony and carries with it a mandatory minimum 180 days in jail. But don’t worry, you won’t likely be facing the minimum on a fourth offense. Even in Los Angeles the District Attorney policy is to offer at least 16 months prison on the fourth deuce. If you are on probation or have a recent prior, you are likely to face even more time.

The third way to face a felony DUI is to have a prior felony DUI within the last ten years. Any prior felony Dui within ten years automatically makes the new DUI a felony. This is true regardless of whether there are injuries in the new case. It does not require that there be three prior DUI convictions.

I was recently hired by a client who was arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles. He was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed down Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, California. He pulled over to use his telephone and the police pulled into the parking lot next to him. The cops asked if he had been drinking and, well, you know the rest. He opted to take a breath test and blew a .11 two times. There was no accident, no high blood alcohol, no kids in the car. There were no aggravating factors. Nonetheless, the prosecutor got ahold of this one and filed a felony based upon client’s prior felony DUI within 10 years. To make things worse, the client was still on probation from his prior DUI causing injury. Now he is facing prison on a case which is his third DUI in ten years.
We are trying to get Client into a residential treatment program. Hopefully, he will be home soon, sober and back to work.

If you have questions about your DUI or any other criminal case, call a lawyer who knows the who in the trenches every day. Call me:
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or

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