The police have arrested you for Felony DUI. A DUI is a Felony in one of the following circumstances. You had two prior misdemeanor DUIs, and this is your third within ten years. You had one prior excessive DUI, and this is your second excessive DUI within five years. Or, you were in an accident that injured someone. Or, you had a prior felony DUI in the last 15 years. You may have never been in trouble before, but you realize you are in real
The first thing you want to know is what is the worst that can happen to you. Incarceration in the State Penitentiary is first and foremost in your mind.
The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the possibility that you may go to Prison. Jail is different than Prison in that jail is county incarceration and is never more than a year. Prison can be for years.
Prison is the scariest part of a Felony DUI. The State could take a good portion of your life from you. You will certainly lose your job. You may even lose your house, or other property when you fail to make your payments. Your family will suffer as well.
If the Court chooses not to send you to Prison, they could place you on probation. If they place you on probation for a Felony DUI, it will certainly be supervised probation. You will have a probation officer. And it will be for a term of several years.
If the Court is not comfortable with placing you on probation, but also not ready to send you to prison, they can retain jurisdiction and send you on a “rider.” The rider is a treatment program in the prison. It lasts for many months. If you are successful, the court can remove you from prison and place you on probation.
If you are placed on probation by the court, that doesn’t mean you will escape any form of incarceration. Courts will still penalize you with county jail time. This will be served as a condition of your probation. The penalty for failing to complete the jail would be revocation of your probation, and the imposition of the underlying prison sentence.
Unfortunately, there is a minimum jail sentence on a Felony DUI. For a Felony DUI, you must serve at least 30 days of jail.
Of course, the court’s want their money. So the next issue is how much can they get from you? For a Felony DUI, the maximum possible fine is $5,000.
The Courts may also order you to pay restitution, which has no maximum. If there was an accident involved, the court could order you to pay for the damages. If there was a blood draw, the court could order you to reimburse the county for the procedure.
If you cannot pay the full amount of fines and restitution, the court can work out a payment plan with you. Fortunately
Besides incarceration, the license suspension can be the most severe part of a Felony DUI sentence. For a Felony DUI, the license suspension is a minimum of 1 year absolute, and up to 5 years. Any license suspension the court imposes will be absolute. That means you cannot drive at all during your period of incarceration.
The Court will order you to complete an alcohol evaluation. They will generally order this after you enter a plea, and before your sentencing hearing. The court uses the assessment to determine how severe your alcohol addiction is. Consequently, the worse the habit, the more hours of treatment you will be ordered to complete.
The evaluation will have a recommendation for a certain level of alcohol treatment. The type of treatment varies from 8 hours of an outpatient treatment class to months in inpatient treatment.
In addition to the treatment the court orders you to do, it will also require you to complete a “Victim’s Panel.” This panel is a one night class where the state will educate you on the impact that driving under the influence has on victims of the crime.
What you should do
The State has charged you with a Felony. Felonies are severe. You face custody in Prison. You may not know what to do next. That is why the first thing you should do is call an attorney. The possible consequences are much more severe than a misdemeanor DUI. An attorney can be your guide, your legal counselor, and your protector.
If you believe that our office is the right fit for you, call us today. Our top-rated DUI Attorneys can help you solve this crisis you have found yourself in.