Friday, December 20, 2013

When is Drunk Driving a Felony?

Nevada harshly prosecutes all types of DUIs, and in some cases, drunk driving can even be charged as a felony offense. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you could be charged with a felony if:

  • You were convicted of drunk driving twice in the past 7 years
  • You were previously convicted of felony DUI
  • In the course of driving under the influence you seriously injured a victim or caused a fatality

What are the penalties for felony DUI?

If you are convicted of felony DUI, your penalties will be based upon the factors involved in your offense.  Below is an overview of the typical sentences given for felony drunk driving.

Third DUI Offense – Category B Felony
  • Incarceration in state prison for 1 to 6 years
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Installation of a breath interlock device in your car for 1 to 3 years
  • License suspension for 3 years

DUI Following a Felony DUI Conviction – Category B Felony
  • Incarceration in state prison for 2 to 15 years
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines

DUI Causing Injury or Death – Category B Felony
  • Incarceration in state prison for 2 to 15 years
  • Fines of $2,000 to $5,000

If you are charged with DUI causing injury or death and you have already been convicted of drunk driving at least 3 times, your charges will be increased to vehicular homicide, which is a Category A felony. Conviction for vehicular homicide will result in incarceration in state prison for 25 years or life in prison, with the possibility of parole after serving at least 10 years.

If you are charged with felony DUI, it’s important to understand your defense options and to retain an experienced criminal lawyer for your trial. Visit the DUI Defense section on our website for more information.