What is a felony DUI or an Aggravated DUI:
A felony DUI is also referred to as an Aggravated DUI or Aggravated Driving Under the Influence. A felony DUI is a more serious DUI charge than a misdemeanor DUI.
How does a Driving Under the Influence charge become an aggravated Driving Under the Influence/felony?
A first offense or second offense Driving Under the Influence or DUI is a Class A misdemeanor. However, the state can upgrade any charge of DUI to an aggravated DUI. This is also referred to as a felony DUI. The charge increases from a misdemeanor to a felony based upon the specific circumstances of the case. For example, a first DUI can be upgraded to a felony if you are stopped either without a valid driver’s license or if serious injury resulted.
Difference between a misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI:
The differences are in the punishment you will receive if the court finds you guilty. The state usually charges a felony DUI as a class 4 felony. However, it may also become a more serious felony based upon the specific case facts of the case.
Can a felony DUI be reduced to a misdemeanor DUI?
Yes. I often have felony DUI charges reduced to misdemeanor charges. However, I typically have to file a pretrial motion, such as a motion to quash the arrest. A Motion to Quash the Arrest is a request asking the judge to dismiss the case because the police officer did not have a reason to stop my client’s vehicle. Additionally, I can seek a dismissal based upon that the officer did not have a reason to believe my client was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although I file this motion, I usually do not need to actually conduct the hearing. In most cases, the state’s attorney realizes I could win the motion and that the judge could dismiss the entire case, and they offer to reduce the case to a misdemeanor.
Another way to have the case reduced is to submit a mitigation letter to the supervising prosecutor. A mitigation letter brings up all of your achievements in your life and contains information about your family and job and the circumstances of the arrest.
For more specific information and to review the facts of your case, call Attorney Young for a no-obligation consultation.