Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Apr 17, 2017 in Criminal Law
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may be worried that your offense is a felony.
In general, most DUI convictions in Georgia are misdemeanors, putting them on par with moving violations, such as running a red light or causing a minor car crash.
However, there are certain situations where your criminal conviction will be upgraded to a felony:
If this is your fourth DUI conviction since July 1, 2008, it is a felony, according to Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) § 40-6-391.
The penalties for a felony DUI conviction are much harsher than a misdemeanor conviction, including:
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-393 and § 40-6-394, anyone who causes death or severe injury through drunk driving will be charged with felony DUI.
A severe injury is one that causes any of the following medical issues:
If you are convicted of a DUI that caused someone to die, you will receive a three to 15-year prison sentence. If you cause someone to suffer a severe injury, you will be sentenced to between one and 15 years in prison.
Under Georgia law, you will be charged with a DUI if you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC):
Even though a DUI is often a misdemeanor, it can come with stiff penalties. If it is your first conviction you are subject to:
Penalties for your second and third conviction become increasingly severe. For example, after your third conviction you could spend between 120 days and one year in jail and face a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.
The Savannah criminal defense lawyers at The Nye Law Group can represent you if you have been charged with DUI. We will work to ensure you are treated fairly throughout the legal process.