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Rochester Felony DUI Lawyer
Although drunk driving is typically a misdemeanor offense under state law, a DUI or OWI may result in felony charges in certain situations. The existence of previous OWI or related convictions, accidents in which others are severely injured or killed, and driving with exceptionally high BAC levels all can lead to enhanced felony OWI charges. Due to the danger of enhanced penalties stemming from these charges, you should not hesitate to consult a Rochester felony DUI lawyer for advice.
Being proactive in your defense against felony OWI charges could be crucial to a favorable outcome in your case. By getting help from a local DUI defense lawyer immediately after you are charged, you may be more likely to reach an effective defense strategy in your case. With legal assistance, you may be able to work toward reduced charges or mitigated penalties.Repeat DUI Convictions in Rochester
One of the most frequent situations in which individuals face felony OWI charges is when they have previous convictions. A third or subsequent drunk driving conviction in someone’s lifetime could result in felony OWI charges. As a result, even if individuals had two previous OWI convictions many years ago, they would likely still face felony OWI charges if they are arrested for driving while impaired again.
Felony DUI charges may also be issued if prior convictions were for certain other criminal offenses. A conviction for operating while visibly impaired also constitutes a prior conviction, potentially enhancing the charge and potential penalties. A felony drunk driving defense lawyer could be instrumental in helping drivers in Rochester fight back against the severe consequences of a felony conviction.Felony DUI Offenses
Aside from repeated convictions for OWI and related offenses, individuals also can face felony charges if they cause accidents that result in severe injuries or fatalities. Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.625 provides for felony charges if individuals cause severe impairment of a bodily function or death to others in the course of operating while intoxicated or visibly impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Likewise, a high blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 percent or more could lead to enhanced felony charges where injury or death has occurred. This BAC is significantly higher than the threshold OWI limit of .08 percent, so driving with this level of intoxication can have harsher consequences. When facing felony OWI charges on any of these grounds, it may be wise to consult a DUI defense attorney with experience handling felony cases in Rochester.Penalties for Felony DUI in Rochester
The penalties for felony impaired driving charges differ according to the severity of the actions involved. Depending on the nature of the incident, drivers could face several years in prison and thousands in fines. They could also face a lengthy license suspension, vehicle immobilization, or even forfeiture. Drivers may also be forced to install and maintain a blood alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) once they regain their driving privileges.
Third or subsequent OWI convictions can result in a maximum prison sentence of five years and a minimum jail sentence of 1-5 years, with a minimum of the first 30 days in jail. This broad range gives sentencing judges discretion in determining how long individuals may be incarcerated.
However, if the OWI results in serious bodily injury or death to others, the potential prison time may be as much as 15 years. Individuals with BACs of .17 percent or more at the time of the offense and who have another conviction within the previous seven years could face up to 20 years in prison if the accident resulted in a fatality.Contact a Rochester Felony DUI Attorney for Counsel
A felony conviction can have ramifications that last long beyond a prison sentence and fines. When employers and landlords conduct a background check and see a felony conviction, you are at risk of missing out on jobs and housing as well as being barred from voting or owning and using a firearm. A Rochester felony DUI lawyer could help defendants minimize their exposure to these collateral consequences. To learn more, call to schedule an initial consultation.