Driving Under the Influence DUI|
- Donte T Wyatt Esq.
What a Criminal DUI Attorney can do with your felony DUI?
FELONY DUI ( DWI )
Most people who are
arrested for driving under the influence are charged with misdemeanor offenses. However, under certain
circumstances a person who drives a vehicle after drinking alcohol can be charged with a felony offense. When a
person is charged with felony driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) it is critical that they contact an experience
criminal dui attorney.
If a person is driving in violation of Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) or Vehicle Code
section 23152(b) and a person is injured then they can be charged with violating Vehicle Code section 23153(a)
and/or Vehicle Code section 23153(b). The elements of each of these offenses correspond to their misdemeanor
equivalents with the additional element that the impaired driving was the proximate cause of someone being injured.
In addition, to driving under the influence the person must concurrently do a forbidden (unlawful) or negligent act
which is the proximate cause of the injury.
In addition to a misdemeanor
driving under the influence charge becoming a felony based on the proximate cause of an injury, an otherwise
misdemeanor DUI/DWI can become a felony if the person charged has had three or more prior misdemeanor convictions
within ten years within the meaning of Vehicle Code section 23550(a).
If a person is charged with a felony driving under the influence charge it is very important that they obtain a
competent San Diego Criminal DUI Attorney.
The first thing a Criminal DUI Attorney must review are the applicable misdemeanor defenses because the criminal
DUI attorney can use the same defenses to undermine the corresponding elements in the felony charges .
The next step is to attack the factors that make the otherwise misdemeanor driving under the influence charge a
felony. First, if the driving under the influence is a felony do to the proximate causing of an injury. Then the
criminal DUI attorney must determine if there is an alternate proximate cause for the injury, of if in fact the
charged person committed a forbidden or negligent act that caused an injury.
Now if the driving under the influence charge is a felony due to prior convictions. The criminal DUI attorney must
attack the validity of the prior convictions. If the criminal DUI attorney is able to have the prior conviction
dismissed the felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor as a matter of law.
Furthermore if the level of injury is insignificant the criminal DUI attorney may be able to have the felony
conviction reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code section 17(b). This type of reduction can also be
available to a felony DUI based on priors under certain circumstances.