Felony DUI Lawyer in Riverside
Facing felony DUI charges as a result of a traffic stop can be much worse than a simple DUI. This is especially true if someone was injured during a crash or you’re a repeat offender. But you don’t need to fight felony DUI charges alone. If you are in this situation and are unsure what to do next, rest assured, you do not have to navigate through the legal system on your own. Contact a knowledgeable Riverside DUI lawyer at The Law Offices of Scott Henry and trust that you will have your questions answered and your rights protected.
Our attorneys are proud of our 15 years of experience in DUI law and in fact, we are dedicated and focused exclusively on DUI defense. Mr. Henry, our lead attorney, is an outgoing, personable lawyer who is well-respected by judges, district attorneys, police officers, expert witnesses, and other defense attorneys. Our attorneys work hard to secure the best possible outcome for their clients. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.
What Is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony DUI?
While a misdemeanor DUI is no laughing matter, it carries significantly lower penalties. Most misdemeanor drunk driving convictions involve up to one year of jail time, fines, and probation. But penalties for a felony DUI can include the following:
- At least one year of jail time, and may involve incarceration in a state prison
- Permanent loss of your driver’s license
- Tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fees
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- Extensive drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation
- Rigorous terms for parole and probation
- Loss of your right to possess firearms
- Temporary loss of your voting rights (while incarcerated)
Depending on your circumstances, you may face a decade of incarceration, loss of your driver’s and professional licenses, and highly restrictive probation terms. In other words, a felony DUI conviction will have lasting effects that can impact your future, your career, and your freedom.
When Can You Be Charged With a Felony DUI?
While prosecutors typically weigh all the facts surrounding a DUI before charging someone with a felony, there are three common situations in which Riverside authorities will proceed with a felony DUI:
- Someone was killed or seriously injured during the DUI.
- You have three or more DUI convictions in the last ten years, including convictions for reckless driving involving alcohol. This includes convictions from other states and jurisdictions and expunged DUI convictions.
- You’ve been convicted of a felony DUI before. In California, prosecutors must charge you with a felony if you already have at least one other felony DUI on your record.
This means that even if you’re facing your first DUI, prosecutors may opt for felony charges if you were involved in an accident and someone was injured. Notably, under California law, “serious injuries” don’t just involve things like traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, they can also include broken bones, scars, and other disabling conditions.
Why Do I Need a Felony DUI Lawyer?
Defending yourself against felony DUI charges can be an intimidating and complicated process. However, most people who are arrested for DUIs have legal options. An experienced Riverside felony DUI lawyer can help you regain control of the situation and identify best possible defense strategies available to you.
Building a Defense Strategy
For example, to convict you of a “serious injury” felony DUI, prosecutors must convince the jury that your drunk or impaired driving caused the crash and the related injuries. However, the circumstances surrounding a car crash are rarely that clear cut. Many times, an experienced defense lawyer can identify mistakes or reckless behaviors by other drivers that significantly contributed to or caused the wreck.
Lessening the Penalties Against You
Even if your conduct may have caused a serious injury, prosecutors can choose to charge you with a misdemeanor DUI. In these cases, a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer can highlight mitigating circumstances and other issues that may merit misdemeanor charges and lighter penalties.
Identifying Procedural Errors in Your Case
Other times, the police make serious procedural errors that weaken their case. These errors may involve improper calibration of a breathalyzer, faulty test results, lack of probable cause during your traffic stop, and other violations of your legal rights.
We Know How to Defend You Against DUI Charges
Most people simply cannot investigate a DUI and identify these issues on their own. That’s why they turn to a skilled DUI defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Scott Henry. We’ve built a reputation for our sophisticated approach to DUI defense. And we understand how to fully investigate and develop our clients’ claims.
Because we focus our practice on the most complex DUI defense claims, we can provide you with essential insight into your defenses, help you build a realistic defense strategy, and guide you through the emotionally-charged process of defending yourself from a felony DUI.
Fighting Felony DUI Charges in Riverside
Our state’s laws against drunk driving are complicated and harsh penalties are imposed on those who are convicted of DUI. Most DUI arrests are misdemeanors with penalties that range from fines, probation or jail time. But a fourth offense DUI can be charged as a felony with significant incarceration in the state prison system and permanent loss of one’s license.
However, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction can involve life-changing penalties. Any penalty, whether a misdemeanor or felony, can be increased if conditions or aggravating circumstances such as the following are present:
- Child in the vehicle under 14 years old
- Driving on a suspended or restricted license
- High blood alcohol content (BAC), over .20%
These aggravating factors can add years to your sentence. For example, if your felony DUI involves multiple accident victims, you may face an additional year of prison time for each victim, up to a maximum of three years.
The stakes are high and your future is at risk. With such serious consequences looming ahead of you, there is no time to lose. Our firm has close to two decades of DUI experience and memberships in the National College of DUI Defense, California DUI Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. We have the skills necessary to aggressively and vigilantly protect your rights, your career, and your future.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
It’s not uncommon for California prosecutors to offer plea deals to individuals who are facing a felony DUI. While a plea bargain is sometimes in your best interest, too many people accept unfair deals that have deeper ramifications than they realize. Before you negotiate or accept a DUI plea bargain, you should always consult with a skilled DUI defense lawyer. A lawyer can help you properly evaluate the deal, respond appropriately, and weigh your options.
Request a Consultation With a Felony DUI Lawyer
The Law Offices of Scott Henry is one of Riverside’s premier DUI defense firms. We’ve built a reputation for our aggressive, practical approach to felony DUIs, and our lawyers focus their practices solely on DUI defense. For the dedicated legal representation you need, contact a Riverside felony DUI attorney at The Law Offices of Scott Henry.
Previous Client Testimonial
5 / 5 stars
I was involved in an accident and charged with DUI. When my first attorney refused to take my case to trial, Mr. Henry took over the case and demanded a deal from the District Attorney. When they refused our offer, we took the case to Jury Trial and Mr. Henry was able to get a Not Guilty on all counts. I’m now able to join the military because of Mr. Henry.
C.L. – Riverside