Felony DUI Charge in Lexington
A felony DUI is a very serious matter with extremely serious consequences. For example, whereas misdemeanor felony DUI allows for probation to be conducted informally between a judge and the offender, felony DUI requires regular formal probation overseen by a probation officer. One dramatic downside of formal probation is that oversight must be paid for by the offender. Such monitoring can cost thousands of dollars a year. Worse still, while a misdemeanor DUI offense is typically punished only by the imposition of fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, and mandatory alcohol or substance abuse treatment program attendance, a felony DUI offense is more likely to be punished by a sentence of jail time – typically 2 to 3 years. Finally, to state the obvious: a felony DUI conviction makes one a convicted felon. Such status can negatively affect one’s voting and gun rights, and make it difficult to get a job.
Ways In Which A DUI May Be Classified As A Felony Rather Than A Misdemeanor
In Kentucky, a DWI/DUI charge may arise when an individual is caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs that impair driving ability.
One way in which a DUI merits felony status is if the offender has multiple prior DUI convictions within a 5-year period.
A DUI may also be prosecuted as a felony DUI if, while driving under the influence, the defendant caused an accident resulting in death or serious injury to another person.
Additionally, a DUI is automatically classified and prosecuted as a felony if the defendant has even one prior felony DUI conviction.
Penalties For Felony DUI In Kentucky
A fourth DUI offense within a 5-year period will be prosecuted as a Class D felony. Conviction will result in a minimum 120-day prison sentence without the possibility of probation, and a 5-year driver license suspension. One year of alcohol or substance abuse treatment will also be ordered by the court. Additionally, the 120-day prison term will be doubled if there are any aggravating circumstances, such as driving more than 30 miles per hour above the speed limiting, refusing to submit to chemical testing, or transporting passengers under the age of 12.
What To Do If You Have Been Charged With Felony DUI In The State Of Kentucky
If you have been charged with felony DUI in the state of Kentucky, it is imperative that you do everything in your power to challenge or minimize the charges. An officer arresting an individual on suspicion of felony DUI is required by law to follow very specific procedures. If these procedures have not been followed in every way, it may be grounds for a legal defense against a charge of felony DUI. Even if all procedures have been followed to the letter, it may be possible to reach a plea agreement resulting in a misdemeanor, rather than felony charge. To understand your legal rights and mount the strongest defense possible against a charge of felony DUI, contact an experienced Lexington DUI attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC as soon as possible.