Ventura Felony DUI Lawyer
Arrested for drunk driving?
Facing a DUI arrest is never easy – that's why you need a high-quality DUI defense attorney on your side. Contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today to get the hard-hitting legal guidance and representation you need and deserve. We are here to help you understand your legal circumstances, rights and options. When it comes to DUI defense, we believe that experience matters. Our firm has spent more than 50 collective years developing a reputation for excellence in criminal defense law. Today, we have a proven record for success behind us and are wholeheartedly prepared to put this experience to work for your case. Contact us today to see what our AV® Preeminent™ rated legal team can do for your case.
Felony vs. Regular DUI
Drunk driving can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the unique circumstances surrounding each case. In most cases, drunk driving is considered a misdemeanor offense. However, extenuating circumstances can result in a felony accusation instead. Generally speaking, there are three reasons that a California drunk driving accusation could be enhanced to a felony:
- The driver caused an injury or death
- The driver has three or more prior DUI convictions
- The driver has a previous felony DUI conviction
On the other hand, a regular DUI conviction occurs when the motorist is found guilty of driving over the legal BAC limit (.08%). Regular DUI is subject to less severe penalties than felony DUI. Additionally, a driver could be arrested and convicted of drunk driving if law enforcement determines that his/her BAC is under the legal limit, but high enough to affect the driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Enhanced Penalties and Aggravated Circumstances
Aggravated circumstances can result in enhanced DUI penalties as well – even if the charge is not heightened to a felony offense. For example: a driver might be charged with DUI child endangerment for driving under the influence with a young child or minor in the vehicle. An extremely high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) could result in additional penalties as well. Many states enhance DUI penalties if the driver is found with a BAC that exceeds approximately twice the legal limit. Other aggravated circumstances might include:
- Property damage
- Prior convictions