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California DUI, Felonies vs. Misdemeanors

A DUI conviction can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The difference between the two will affect the final sentence given. A misdemeanor conviction will receive a sentence on the lighter side of the spectrum whereas a felony will receive a much harsher punishment, especially when there is significant bodily harm.

California Vehicle Code 23152 is the section under which a misdemeanor DUI is charged. It is divided up into two sections. 23152(a) reads that It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle. 23152 (b) reads that It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.s23152(a) was the previous DUI law and 23152(b) was added 20 years ago.sThe legal Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) used to be a .10% and has been reduced to .08% in California with a trend towards reducing it further to .06%. Compared to many countries who require a .0% BAC, we are still much more tolerant. A conviction under either 23152(a) or 23152(b) will result in a misdemeanor charge.

California Vehicle Code 23153sis the code section under which a felony DUI is charged. Like misdemeanor DUI, it is divided into the two same sections with one additional statement. 23153 (a) reads; It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.s23153(b) reads that it is It is unlawful for any person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

You may be charged as a felony DUI if there was a certain kind of bodily injury to a victim, as the code indicates. Bodily injury varies across a wide spectrum and will guide prosecution in the plea bargain they present to the Judge. A minor soft tissue injury with mild discomfort will still be considered a bodily injury but will be on the lower end of the scale in comparison to fractures or other major internal injuries which will yield much harsher punishments in the eyes of the law.

Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor DUI conviction, the ultimate goal is to avoid any kind of conviction. You need someone who will fight in your corner to reduce the charge to that of a misdemeanor, or the misdemeanor charge to an infraction. Hire an experienced California DUI attorney, who will fight on your side and believe you are a good citizen and person and will work hard to ensure that the Judge sees it too.s