Driving Under the Influence: DUI Felony versus DUI Misdemeanor

Reports of accidents involving DUIs or Driving Under the Influence can be heard or seen daily and can happen several times a day. The law imposes strict rules when it comes drunk driving, a term mostly used among civilians. Despite this, many still manage to get themselves involved in trouble which has caused harm to others and even early deaths, taking the numerous lives of many innocent victims.

Misdemeanor versus Felony

Misdemeanors are minor crimes but still a crime nonetheless. This can cause anyone convicted with it a maximum jail time of one year and to pay a corresponding fine.

Felonies, on the other hand, are the gravest type of crime, much more severe than misdemeanors. If convicted of a felony, you are to serve more than a year in prison, pay a fine and other penalties depending on your case and what state you are in currently.

When are DUIs considered misdemeanors or felony in Texas?

When convicted with DUI, the charges and penalties imposed are mostly dependent on many factors. When charged with first or second DUI offense, what you will usually get will be a misdemeanor. If charged with your third DUI offense or was involved in a big car accident where some properties are damaged and caused injuries to other, a felony charge is in order.

Anyone convicted of a felony will face some severe consequences much more severe than those of misdemeanors. It can significantly affect your life in more ways than one. You will be listed as a convicted felon and may face difficulties in the future. For example, when you apply for jobs in government agencies or companies, they can have access to your records, especially those that deal with confidential information.

Is a DUI a Misdemeanor in Texas? Yes. First and second DUI cases with no other charges are under this category. For first-time offenders, they are charged with Class B Misdemeanor wherein one must pay up to $2,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail. As for your second offense, you can stay in prison for up to one year and pay up to $4,000 in fines.

Is a DUI a felony in Texas? Yes, if this is the third time you are convicted of DUI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter. When you get involved in a serious accident while on DUI and someone was severely hurt, you can receive charges against Intoxication Assault. However, if while drunk driving and someone died because of the accident, you are involved, you can be charged with Intoxication Manslaughter.

The best way to prevent charges of misdemeanors and felony from Driving Under the Influence is by not drinking and driving at all. The State of Texas has a complex law when it comes to DUI, and it can be confusing for the person charged. It is best to be prepared by knowing your rights, understanding the law and how it works. Having a professional lawyer is also crucial when facing such cases.

Jennifer Winget

Learn More →