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When is drunk driving a felony case?

As this blog has mentioned before, drunk driving in this state will almost always be treated as at least a criminal misdemeanor, even for a first-time offense. Under New York law, even misdemeanors can land a person in jail and can result in other significant penalties.

However, New York authorities crack down even harder when a person has a prior history of drunk driving. By way of example, someone who picks up a second drunk driving allegation may face a felony charge. This charge can land her in prison for up to 4 years if she receives the maximum sentence following a conviction.

In order to be charged with a felony, the second drunk driving incident has to occur within 10 years if the first incident. Likewise, someone who receives three convictions related to driving while intoxicated within 10 years will face up to 7 years in prison and a higher degree of felony.

As readers may guess, the higher the degree of felony, the more serious the charge and, at least in theory, the more serious the long-term consequences.

Residents of New City should be aware that other factors, aside from one's driving record, can affect whether he incurs a felony charge as a result of an incident of alleged drunk driving. Some of these factors include whether a child was in the car at the time of the incident or whether there was an accident.

In the event of an accident, the charges may get more serious if a person gets hurt or killed.

Those who live or travel in or around New City and who are facing enhanced drunk driving charges or other, related felony counts have all the more reason to evaluate their options carefully. They should consider entrusting their cases to an experienced defense attorney.

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