If you or a loved on has been pulled over and arrested on charges related to intoxicated driving, there are many questions the accused and family will have about what's happening. A person can be arrested and charged with DUI, or a drunk driving related offense, and there are different severity levels when it comes to DUI. Rather, one-size DUI does not fit all. The highest level of DUI-related charge one could be facing is felony DUI.
So what is the difference between regular, misdemeanor DUI and felony DUI? Well, since one is prosecuted as a misdemeanor and the other, a felony, the potential punishments if convicted of the charges are different, with felony DUI being more severe. What factors might bump a regular misdemeanor DUI from the lesser charge to the more severe felony DUI? Elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC), bodily harm, prior convictions, children in the vehicle, or apprehended while on suspended/revoked license can elevate the charge from standard DUI to felony DUI.
It isn't uncommon for those to be pulled over for DUI to have been charged before. With stricter laws for repeat offenders, a person who blew .10 several years ago and .10 just recently could be facing much more serious DUI charges than the first time around. If a person is really intoxicated (levels way over the legal limit of .08) this shows gross negligence on behalf of the driver and thus the charge could become a felony. If a person causes a car accident while intoxicated that hurts or kills someone, this will automatically qualify one for felony DUI, among other charges.
While there may have been no ill-will on behalf of the person accused of DUI, intoxicated driving behaviors can easily hurt someone. That's why the law has gotten so tough on intoxicated drivers. If you or a loved one is facing charge related to DUI, they should be taken seriously. If convicted, they can have a big impact on the future.