While most drunk driving offenses are classified as a misdemeanor, some are classified as a felony. If you are facing a Michigan DUI felony charge, you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Grand Rapids DUI lawyer will fight to help you avoid the life-altering consequences that come with a driving under the influence conviction.
What is the difference between DUI misdemeanor and DUI felony? The biggest difference is where you are incarcerated—a misdemeanor can lead to jail time, while a felony may result in a prison sentence. The length of incarceration also varies: less than one year for a misdemeanor, a year or more for a Michigan dui felony.
In Michigan, you may be charged with a felony if convicted of a third drinking and driving offense. The penalties include one to five years in prison, expensive fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, and community services. The judge may also order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle in order to have your driver’s license restored. You may also be ordered to forfeit your car, or it will be impounded.
Other extenuating circumstances can also lead to a felony charge. If you cause property damage or injury while under the influence, or are transporting a child at the time of the incident, you may be brought up on Michigan DUI felony charges.
A felony conviction can also change your life in ways that you cannot imagine. Someone with a felony on their record is not eligible to hold a government position or work with children. Convicted felons are prohibited from owning firearms and may have difficulty applying for loans. And having a felony conviction expunged from your record is extremely difficult.
As you can see, being convicted of a Michigan dui felony is very serious. If this is your third DUI offense, or you had one of the extenuating circumstances listed above, you should hire an attorney who focuses exclusively on DUI law.