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Palm Desert DUI Law Blog

Drivers facing felony DUIs can have hope for their future

Being charged with a DUI can be scary and overwhelming. Being charged with a felony DUI can be even more daunting. Felony DUIs result in much more serious penalties than misdemeanor DUIs. With so much at stake, it may be in your best interest to seek professional legal advice regarding your situation.In the state of California, a DUI can be charged as a felony in three major situations. First, drivers may be charged with a felony DUI if they have three prior convictions within a ten-year time period and are currently being charged with their fourth DUI. Next, if a driver has a prior felony DUI conviction, he or she may be charged with a felony DUI if subsequent DUI charges come up. Lastly, a driver can be charged with a felony DUI if he or she was involved in an accident that killed or injured another person.The office of Dale Gribow Attorney at Law has successfully defended numerous people facing felony DUIs. After reviewing the details of your arrest, Attorney Gribow will dig deeper to find out if your rights were violated in any way during the process. For example, law enforcement officials often administer field sobriety tests and chemical tests, such as Breathalyzers, at the scene of an accident to determine the blood alcohol content of the driver.

However, mistakes are common when it comes to the administration of these tests and the maintenance of the equipment used in the testing process. These mistakes can have a huge effect on the accuracy of the test results. With the proper defenses in place, Attorney Gribow may be able to negotiate on your behalf for reduced charges. Even if one has a prior record with multiple offenses in the past, A Palm Springs criminal defense attorney can make a meaningful difference in how matters proceed after an arrest.

When does a DUI become a felony in California?

In Palm Desert, most drunk driving charges are classified as misdemeanors. However, in certain situations, a DUI charge can be upgraded to a felony. Generally, felonies carry much more serious penalties than misdemeanors and can have a major impact on a person’s future. A felony DUI conviction in California can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a significant fine, in addition to driver’s license revocation.

A driver with multiple DUI offenses within a set period of time may also face a felony DUI. In California, a fourth DUI within the same ten-year period as the three prior convictions will be charged as a felony.

Another way that a DUI charge can become a felony is if the driver injured or killed another person while driving under the influence. Prosecutors may be able to decide whether the DUI should be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony. In California, prosecutors are required to show that the driver facing DUI charges caused the injury in question. For example, if someone else crashes into the drunk driver and suffers injury, the charges against the drunk driver will remain at the misdemeanor level because the drunk driver did not cause the injury.

Felony DUI charges can result in major consequences and should be taken very seriously. Fortunately, like anyone charged with a crime, a person facing felony DUI charges has the right to an attorney and the right to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. An experienced California DUI attorney can advise the client of their options and represent them in court.

California tries to enforce stricter laws to fight drunk boating

With spring just around the corner, many Californians will be enjoying time on their boats. Driving under the influence is constantly in the news, but what about boating under the influence? While California has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, many believe that there is not enough focus on boating safety issues.

Over 4,000 recreational boating accidents occurred in 2013, which lead to the deaths of nearly 600 people. Out of the accidents where the primary cause was known, alcohol was the leading factor in 16% of deaths. When the accidents were caused by operator error, alcohol and drugs were a factor in about one-third of the deaths.

Marin assemblymember Marc Levine recently introduced brand new legislation, AB 539, which is focused on improving state boating laws. The new bill will permit law enforcement to obtain a search warrant to administer a blood test on anyone suspected of operating a boat under the influence. The bill will expand on SB 717, which allowed law enforcement to test motorists suspected of DUIs, regardless of whether the motorist submits to the test. By giving law enforcement this authority, both boaters and swimmers will be better protected.

It is the hope that with stricter DUI laws in place impacting both boaters and drivers, people will be less likely to operate their vehicles while under the influence. However, the reality is that some drivers and boat operators will still make that devastating mistake. Those who are found guilty of driving or operating a boat under the influence should be prepared for serious penalties including fines, license suspension and even jail time.

Felony DUI convictions often lead to jail time in California

In Palm Desert, police officers have pulled over many drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some drivers will face felony DUI charges, which may lead to more serious penalties than misdemeanor DUI charges. Drivers who are convicted of a felony DUI will likely face at least one year in state prison. Their voting rights, gun rights and other freedoms may also be impacted.

In California, there are three circumstances in which a DUI may be charged as a felony. If the driver has a prior felony DUI conviction or has three prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years and is facing a fourth DUI, he may be charged with a felony DUI. A driver can also face a felony DUI if the DUI is related to an accident where someone was injured or killed.

While all DUI charges are serious, being charged with a felony DUI can be especially difficult to deal with. Seeking qualified legal representation can be very beneficial to help manage your case. The attorneys at Dale Gribow Attorney at Law will thoroughly look over the details of your arrest and come up with the best defense strategy possible.

Many drivers facing DUI charges have had their constitutional rights violated in some way due to mistakes made by police officers at the scene. When that happens, charges may be reduced or even dropped. It also may be possible to negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges. For more information, please visit our felony DUI web page.

Fatal Riverside County crash presumably caused by drunk driver

During the winter season, many Americans enjoy family get-togethers and parties to celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, this time of year can also lead some people to drink and drive. Driving while intoxicated causes numerous fatal accidents in California every year.

One 33-year-old man is facing a felony DUI charge after his involvement in a car accident in Racho Mirage, a resort city near Palm Desert. County court records show that he has no prior DUI charges or convictions.

The accident occurred on Christmas Day when the man allegedly ran a red light and crashed his Chevrolet Suburban into a vehicle traveling south on a nearby road. He then crashed into a traffic signal pole, flipping his vehicle on to its side. The vehicle he hit proceeded to crash into a Volkswagen Beetle heading north on the same road. The 78-year-old woman who was driving the Beetle was transported to the hospital where she died shortly after. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle were not injured.

The man was arrested and booked at a county jail on suspicion of a felony DUI causing injury. He posted a $50,000 bond and will appear in court sometime in February. Felony DUIs carry more serious consequences than a standard DUI, which is typically a misdemeanor.

Each state has different rules for what it takes to raise a DUI charge to a felony. In California, when a DUI case involves bodily harm, prosecutors have the discretion to decide whether to prosecute as a misdemeanor or a felony. In order to go for the felony, prosecutors will also have to show that the person charged with the DUI caused the injury in question. If they cannot prove this, the DUI will likely remain a misdemeanor.

Those accused of a DUI should understand their defense options. They should seek advice in order to protect their rights and interests and develop an appropriate and timely defense strategy.

Why might a DUI charge be upgraded to a felony DUI?

It is pretty common knowledge that, California residents who are arrested for driving while impaired will face DUI charges. However, the circumstances surrounding the incident can have a significant effect on the severity of the charge and the associated penalties. Most DUI charges are considered misdemeanor offenses, but certain circumstances can result in increasing the charge to a felony DUI.

When it comes to a misdemeanor DUI offense, the penalties associated with this charge run the gamut from license suspension and fines to also including probation and/or jail time. The number of offenses on a person’s record will play a key role in the severity of the penalties ordered, if a conviction is ultimately secured. In order for a charge to be elevated to felony status certain circumstances must be present. Some of these include:

  • Elevated BAC
  • Bodily harm/death
  • Prior convictions
  • Children in vehicle
  • Driving on a suspended or restricted license

A conviction on a felony DUI charge can result in higher fines, lengthy jail/prison terms and a number of other consequences. These penalties may seem particularly harsh for those who are accused of causing bodily harm to others or endangering the lives of minors. For instance, the minimum sentencing for a felony DUI with injury includes a six to 10 year prison term, a fine up to $5,000 and restitution payments for the injured party.

California residents who are charged with a felony DUI have a lot at stake. Utilizing a strategic criminal defense may be the key to achieving the best possible outcome. Taking the right approach, whether that is seeking a dismissal of charges, conceding to lesser charges pursuant a plea agreement and/or seeking alternative sentencing, can help the accused resolve the issue in a manner that best meets his or her interests.

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Dale Gribow Attorney at Law
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Palm Desert, CA 92260

Phone: 760-321-3302
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73-061 El Paseo, Suite 220