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There Are 3 Levels of DUI Charges in California: Infraction, Misdemeanor and Felony


I did not have to change my life. “Arrested for DUI in SF but did not live there. Had some worries regarding making and attending the court dates especially since I did not live there and travel often for work. Glad to know that my case, although it took some time, was dismissed (DMV) thanks to Aaron. Also I did not have to change my life and daily routine because of this incident all thanks to a very knowledgeable attorney. I was able to get a temporary licences and finally get back my real license and I didn’t even have to show up once to court.”

Adam L.

He always made me feel like a deserving citizen rather than a criminal! “I did not know Aaron prior to requiring his services. I did speak to another lawyer about him and he came highly recommended.Aaron called me quickly and reviewed my case with me thoroughly. He did all of the leg work to set up appointments and handle both the Court and DMV requirements. He always made me feel like a deserving citizen rather than a criminal! He was very responsive throughout the length of our engagement, taking time to respond by phone and by email with any and all details that I needed or asked for.

I had an extremely positive outcome in both my Court and DMV meetings. I know that I would not have won either of those hearings without the professional and personal attention that Aaron gave in both of these courts while representing me. Thank you Aaron for giving me my life back!”

Jimmy Y.

Interviewer: When you talk about handling misdemeanors and felonies, can DUIs be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony?

Aaron Bortel: There are three different types of DUI cases: misdemeanors, felonies and infractions. We’re talking about DUIs, an infraction would be the lightest one and that’s when someone is under 21 and has a BAC under a .05. There’s under a charge for a BAC .05 and then there is another for BACs between a .05 and a .07.

Once the driver’s BAC is at .08, it’s charged as a regular DUI, which is almost always charged as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor DUI in the San Francisco Bay area and all over California is usually charged when someone is at or over a .08 blood alcohol level and/or when they’re driving impaired or driving without the caution of a sober other person.

There’s two different types of charges. The .08 and the impaired driving that are usually seen in a misdemeanor DUI case. Also, misdemeanor DUI case could be a minor injury, not a major injury. That would be a Vehicle Code Section 23153. Minor injuries would be considered minor tissue damage, soreness, a small number of stitches.

A Felony DUI May Include Inflicting a Severe Injury on another Individual

It depends on how the DA’s office wants to charge the offense. If it’s more severe injury then it’s usually charged as a felony DUI. A felony DUI you often see first some pretty serious back or neck injuries, broken bones, fractures, major cuts, concussions and injuries like that.

Drivers with 4 DUIs within 10 Years Will Face Felony Charges

A felony DUI is either some type of a more serious injury, although it doesn’t take much for some district attorney’s offices to charge them as felonies. A driver that has a fourth DUI within ten years of the arrest date of their first DUI will be facing felony charges.

By Aaron Bortel

Aaron Bortel

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