A 64 year old man was struck by a car in Irvine, CA, while walking across the street. The pedestrian suffered head trauma and broken bones and is in critical condition. The driver is suspected to have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. The accident is still being investigated to determine whether or not the driver had been drinking or was DWI prior to the accident. If it is determined that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident happened, he or she faces possible felony DUI charges.
Someone who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or DWI, will either be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. First, second and third offenses are usually filed as misdemeanors. If, however, the driver is involved in an accident, kills or injures a person, or is arrested for a fourth DUI, the offense will be charged as a felony.
The penalties for misdemeanor DUI and felony DUI vary greatly. Someone being charged with a felony DUI faces a far greater punishment than someone being charged with a misdemeanor DUI.
An experienced Orange County drunk driving defense attorney will first try to determine whether, based on the facts, the charges will be filed as a misdemeanor or felony. If felony charges are filed, a good criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI, will try to get the charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. If the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the lesser charge, the punishment is far less harsh.
If you would like to know more about misdemeanor DUI or felony DUI, whether in Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim, or anywhere in Orange County, California, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at 949-474-8008.