Arrested for DUI in Georgia: Can I Be Charged With a Felony?
Criminal charges are typically classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Of the two, a felony charge is a much more serious. As a general rule, a DUI in Georgia is a misdemeanor offense. However, when certain conditions are met, you could be charged with a felony DUI.
When is a DUI a Felony in Georgia?Under Georgia law, you will typically only be charged with a felony DUI if another negative factor is also present in your case. Factors that lead to heightened DUI charges typically involve someone suffering severe damage as a result of your actions, or your actions being perceived as having been particularly careless. There are six different circumstances that commonly lead to DUI arrests being charged as felonies in Georgia. They include:
- An accident which resulted in a serious injury to another person;
- An accident which resulted in a death;
- A driver that attempted to evade police officers; and
- A driver who already has multiple prior DUI convictions.
If any of those factors were present in your case, it is possible that your DUI arrest will result in a felony charge.
Felony DUI Penalties Can Be HarshUltimately, the penalties associated with a DUI arrest will always be based on the specific circumstances of the case. Even misdemeanor DUI convictions come with significant penalties. So, it is critical that any DUI charge is taken seriously. However, if you are convicted of a felony DUI in Georgia, there is no doubt that you will face harsh punishment. Your penalties could include:
- Skyrocketing driver's insurance premiums;
- Your license being revoked, possibility for five years;
- Several thousand dollars in fines;
- Possible lengthy jail time, in some case a minimum of one year, and perhaps much longer; and
- Your photo and charges being posted publicly, at your expense.
You Can Defend Felony DUI ChargesFacing felony DUI charges is intimidating, stressful and confusing. You should not deal with this own your own. There is simply too much on the line. If you have been charged with a felony DUI in Georgia, you need to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible for a comprehensive review of your case. Remember, a charge is not a conviction. With an aggressive Atlanta felony DUI defense lawyer by your side you may be able get your charges reduced to a misdemeanor or even dismissed entirely.