San Diego Felony DUI Attorney

San Diego Felony DUI Lawyer
Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") is a very common offense, and most often a misdemeanor.  In some cases, however, DUI charges can be charged as a felony.  A fourth DUI conviction within ten years, DUI causing injury or death, and DUI with any felony DUI prior can all be felonies, punishable by prison time and other very harsh consequences.  In addition, felony DUI can have serious consequences for your driving privilege, career, professional licenses and immigration status.  If you or a loved one has been charged with felony DUI, it is best to have a knowledgeable, experienced and passionate DUI lawyer on your side, fighting for you to get the best possible outcome.

DUI has become a major focal point of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in San Diego and Southern California. 
Felony DUI is certainly taken more seriously, and carries more severe penalties.  Many of the same defenses to a misdemeanor DUI charge will apply to felony DUI.  In felony DUI cases involving accidents, accident reconstruction and medical records interpretation and more.  The most common DUI defenses include: Rising BAC, defendant was not driving, mouth alcohol or medical conditions led to falsely high BAC readings, and more.  In accident cases, the defense may also assert that the defendant was not at fault in the accident or did not commit an independent illegal act leading to the accident.

A first, second or third DUI conviction, without injury, will be charged as a misdemeanor.  If a driver is arrested with three or more prior convictions for DUI (or "wet" reckless"), will be charged with a felony.  The 10 year "look back" period covers the dates of arrest, not date of conviction.  If the government files felony charges for a Fourth DUI within 10 years, the defenses will include the traditional defenses to DUI.  Additionally, a felony DUI lawyer must take a careful look at the alleged priors to determine several things: (1) was the arrest within the 10 year look back period, (2) was there a conviction for DUI or "wet" reckless in each of the priors, (3) are all of the alleged priors actually the same defendant, (4) for out of state convictions, do the statute or rights associated with the convictions in another state meet the minimum requirements for a DUI prior under California law?  A fourth offense does not always, but typically, indicates a problem with alcoholism or drug addiction.  While not a defense, per se, replacing time in jail or prison with time in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility can be ideal.  Not only is the defendant spared the unpleasant experience of county jail or California state prison, but the

DUI causing injury is a "wobbler" meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.  While a first time DUI arrest with a minor injury might very well be charged as a misdemeanor, a DUI suspect with a prior conviction, or where the injury is serious will most likely be charged with felony DUI.  VC 23153, DUI causing injury, is punishable by up to three years in prison, and also comes with a year long license suspension.  No restricted license is available during this year long period.  In these cases, the government must still prove that the defendant was above the legal limit at the time of driving and/or that the defendant was too impaired to drive.  While police officers will often assume someone who has alcohol on their breath is guilty, the hectic nature of a traffic collision may lead to flaws in their DUI investigations.  The elements of DUI can still be attacked in the same way when an injury and traffic collision are involved.  Moreover, even if a defendant is guilty of DUI, witness testimony, accident reconstruction, and examination of medical records may go to show that the defendant did not "cause" the accident, rendering the felony charge actually a misdemeanor.

Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and can cost someone their life.  While investigating major traffic collisions and traffic fatalities, it is standard procedure for law enforcement officers to look for signs of impairment and even draw blood samples from drivers involved in the accident.  Accidents happen for many reasons, and often involve only sober drivers. 

Getting a felony DUI conviction not only means a harsh sentence, but it also means that any future DUI will be a felony DUI. 

The Great Bodily Injury (GBI) Enhancement can apply

Being arrested or charged with a crime is an aggravating and frightening experience.  The uncertainty, threat of punishment, and intimidating nature of the criminal justice system are a daunting task.  Luckily you do not have to fight this battle on your own.  With your liberty and future at stake, you need a passionate, aggressive, dedicated San Diego DUI Lawyer on your side to fight for you.  If you or a loved one has been arrested for felony DUI, DUI causing injury, DUI with a prior or even a first time DUI offense, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar now for a Free Consultation.  619-930-9515.

San Diego DUI with a Prior AttorneySan Diego DUI Lawyer  |  San Diego Drug Crimes Lawyer

Rising BAC
Mouth Alcohol
Medical Conditions

Field Sobriety Tests
Proper Testing Procedure
Driving Pattern
Testing Accuracy

Will I lose my driver's license?  How long?
How do I get a restricted license?
How do I get my charges reduced to a "Wet Reckless"?
Can I win my DMV Hearing?
What can a lawyer do for me?

Winning Your DMV Hearing
Winning Your Trial
Motion to Suppress Evidence
Negotiating for a Wet Reckless
Protecting Your Professional Licenses
Avoiding Negative Immigration Consequences

SD Central Courthouse - Downtown
SD South County Courthouse - Chula Vista
SD North County Courthouse - Vista
SD East County Courthouse - El Cajon
SD Juvenile Courthouse - Birdland/Mission Valley
Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
San Diego DUI Lawyer
t: 619-930-9515
f: 619-930-9516


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