The best way to avoid a DUI charge is not to get behind the wheel and drive after you’ve been drinking.  But sometimes, we have lapses in judgment and find ourselves in trouble with the law.  In the case of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the charges can go from serious when charged with a misdemeanor, to life changing when charged with a felony.

There are several instances when a DUI misdemeanor can turn into a felony charge.  Here are some of the more common reasons.

Driving under the influence that results in an accident that produces bodily harm.  The repercussions from drinking and driving become much more serious when you cause an accident that results in injuries or death to another person.  A prosecutor must prove that the drunk driver is the party who caused the accident or the charges will probably remain as a misdemeanor.

You drink and drive with a minor as a passenger.  The act of driving drunk while responsible for children in the vehicle will produce a strong response from the legal system against you.

You have been arrested and convicted of DUI several times. In Palm Springs, and throughout California, these are known as priorable offenses.  When priorable offenses occur, penalties become harsher every time you are convicted of the same charge.  With DUI charges, there’s a strong chance you will be charged with a felony if you have been convicted of the same offense three or more times in the past 10 years.

Any kind of previous felony DUI conviction will result in another felony charge if you are charged again.  With a previous felony conviction, misdemeanor charges can be bumped up to a felony charge.

Dale Gribow, Attorney at Law proudly serves Palm Springs and surrounding California communities.