Drivers in California can face criminal charges if they are accused of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Drug-related DUI charges are handled very harshly by the court system. Convictions can result in fines, jail time, and other penalties.
Based on the serious nature of a DUID, you may be wondering if a drug-related DUI is a felony. Find out how California prosecutes DUIDs right here with the Simmrin Law Group. Consider your legal options for handling DUIDs charges by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
Understanding How DUIDs Are Prosecuted in California
Drug-related DUIs in California can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony, based upon the situation surrounding the driver’s current charges and the driver’s prior criminal record. Generally, a DUID will only be prosecuted as a felony if a driver:
- Has three previous misdemeanor convictions for a DUI
- Has one previous felony conviction for a DUI
- Hurt or killed someone while driving under the influence
Therefore, a DUI for drug use can be prosecuted as a felony in the state of California. Let’s go over the differences between misdemeanor and felony DUID charges now.
Misdemeanor DUID Charges in the State of California
Drivers charged with a misdemeanor DUID in California can face a number of serious penalties. These penalties increase each time a driver is convicted of a DUID, because these charges are priorable. A conviction can result in:
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Jail time of six months for a first conviction and one year for subsequent convictions
- Months or years of a license suspension
- Lengthy attendance in DUI school
Note that, if a driver causes only minor injuries to someone else while committing a DUID, they may still face misdemeanor charges. A misdemeanor DUID with injury charge can lead to:
- $5,000 in fines
- Jail time of up to one year
- Three years of a revoked license
- 30 months of DUI school
You can get help handling any DUID charge from a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Begin working on a defense to your charges now. Just call (310) 997-4688 to get started.
Felony DUID Charges in the State of California
Felony DUIDs are generally punished more harshly than misdemeanors in California. Drivers who repeatedly violate DUID laws can be charged with a felony. Felony charges are also used if a driver severely injures or kills someone else. A basic felony DUID conviction can result in:
- Four years in prison
- Fines of up to $5,000
- License revocation for five years
- DUI school for thirty months
Note that, in some circumstances, drivers can end up spending much longer in prison. Time behind bars is often directly tied to the injuries caused in a DUID accident.
Other Charges Associated with a DUID
Note that drivers who are accused of a DUID may face other criminal charges, especially if they were carrying illicit chemical substances in their vehicle at the time of their arrest. In this situation, drivers may be charged with:
- Drug possession
- Possession for sale
Drug possession is generally prosecuted as a misdemeanor in the state of California. Possession for sale, however, is always treated as a felony. This means drivers can end up facing multiple felony charges after a DUID arrest.
Options for a Defense for DUID Charges
You can get professional help on your side if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUID in California. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can assess the facts of your case quickly. Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles are ready to:
- Help you during legal interviews
- Assist at your bail hearing (if applicable)
- Work to block evidence against you
- Review any plea bargains offered by the prosecution
- Fight for you in and out of the courtroom
Our team may be able to get your DUID charges reduced to an acceptable level. For example, if you are charged with a felony DUID, we may be able to get the charges brought down to the misdemeanor level. Get the legal advice you need to handle DUID accusations by reaching out to us today.
Call a DUI Lawyer for Misdemeanor or Felony DUID Charges
A drug-related DUI can be charged as a felony in California, but you can also face misdemeanor charges for this act. The Simmrin Law Group can help you take on both misdemeanor and felony accusations. Get the assistance you need now by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (310) 997-4688.
Take steps to construct a strong defense quickly by reaching out to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles for a FREE consultation.