member since: January 2017

William C. Head, PC

Best DUI Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia and America

Felony DUI

Most states' drunk driving laws provided for felony DUI and misdemeanor DUI. Beyond repaet offfenses, the DUI facts (e.g., drunk driving accident with fatality or serious bodily injury) dictate felony vs misdemeanor. Thus, DUI felony penalties and thmatch up to the severity of the charges (i.e., felony vs misdemeanor).. The unintentional causing of death or serious bodily injury determines if DUI is a misdemeanor or felony.

Every state’s DUI felony laws also determine if sentences can be “stacked” (senntenced to back-to-back prison terms) or must be sentenced concurrently, from a single collision causing serious injury and/or death. So, the answer to “is a DUI a felony” changes from state to state, as you will read below. These are some general guidelines for vehicular homicide in Georgia, or serious injury by vehicle:

  • DUI resulting in a death (or more than one death).or serious bodily injury
  • A serious bodily injury, such as a scar from being sutured (“stitched up” or glued to close the wound), burns, loss of an eye, finger, a broken bone, or organic brain damage
  • DUI with child in car or child endangerment (in some states like NY, AZ, MO, IN and several more states).
  • Multiple DUI offenses, either in the driver's lifetime (like Michigan, where a 3rd DUI lifetime is a felony or 4th DUI within ten years like Georgia). So each state decides when repeat drunk driving convictions become a felony, with a 2nd DUI being a felony in the strictest (Indiana), and a 4th DUI offense being the most lenient number of repeat DUI offenses constituting a felony. Depending on state DUI laws, the most common number (in surveying state DWI-DUI laws across America) is a 3rd DUI or more within a fixed term of years (as set by state DUI-DWI laws), or in the driver's lifetime (Michigan).
  • Most states permit ONE DUI accident to create MULTIPLE felony counts, when multiple deaths and/or serious injury cases occur. Georgia DUI law permits the judge to “stack” the sentences, end-to-end, so that the driver never leaves state prison. The author has represented people with multiple serious injury by vehicle victims, for example a City of Atlanta head-on collision on I-20, where our client had a 0.24 BAC level, and caused a car fire in which 5 colleges students suffered burns, plus two of her passengers in her vehicle had broken bones. Our client faced up to 105 years in state prison (7 x 15 years maximum prison sentence for felony serious injury by vehicle), under the Georgia serious injury by vehicle law, OCGA 40-6-394. Fortunately, the 24 year old client’s father hired DUI lawyer William C. Head early in the case, and Mr. Head was able to get the woman’s case resolved as misdemeanor charges, saving her from a prison sentence. She still faced millions of dollars in civil claims, however.
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