Driving under the influence or DUI is a crime as per Idaho laws. The severity of the crime depends on a number of factors such as the number of repeat offenses and whether or not any accident was caused. It is by considering these factors that the law decides whether a DUI offense is a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Having a skilled lawyer on your side can help deal with the problem.
Many drivers tend to think of DUI as a minor offense. However, if aggravating factors become added to a simple DUI offense and it becomes a felony, the penalties can be quite stiff. This is why it is important to understand when DUI is a felony offense in the state of Idaho. Here are all the instances where a DUI becomes a felony offense.
Second DUI Offense with BAC At or Above 0.20%
Typically, a second DUI offense is deemed a misdemeanor in the state of Idaho. The DUI is regarded as a second offense if you commit it within 10 years of the first DUI offense.
For misdemeanor second offense, the penalties are relatively light. If your BAC is below 0.20%, you face a fine of up to $1,000 and a mandatory jail time of 10 days. You also face license suspension for a one-year minimum.
However, these penalties become a lot stiffer when your BAC is at or above 0.20%. That is when the second DUI is deemed a felony offense. This applies only when your first DUI offense also had a BAC at or above 0.20% and the offense had occurred within the last 5 years.
When deemed a felony, you face a fine of up to $5,000 and a jail time of at least 30 days with a maximum of up to 5 years in prison. In addition, you are also required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for at least 1 year. License suspension for 2nd BAC offense DUI felony is 1 to 5 years.
Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses
Third and all subsequent DUI offenses in the state of Idaho are considered a felony crime. The penalties grow stiffer with each subsequent offense.
For the third offense, you face a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Even if you are not sentenced to prison, you must spend at least 30 days in the county jail as a penalty for your offense. You also face a fine of up to $5,000.
The license suspension and ignition interlock requirements for a simple 3rd DUI offense are the same as the 2nd BAC DUI offense. Your license is suspended for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years. The ignition interlock device must remain installed on your vehicle for 1 year at the minimum.
A simple DUI offense is deemed as an aggravated DUI when the driver causes an accident involving serious bodily harm or injury. In such an instance, the DUI offense becomes a felony, regardless of whether the BAC was exceptionally high, or whether it was the first or subsequent offense.
The penalties for aggravated DUI are quite serious. Although the actual penalties will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries caused, the legal stipulations are as follows. You may face a prison sentence of up to 15 years for aggravated DUI. At the very least, you must spend 30 days in county jail. Of these, the first 48 hours must be consecutive.
The fines for aggravated DUI can be to the tune of $5,000. You also face a license suspension of 1 to 5 years. In addition, you face a license suspension as well.
A felony offense ends up on your criminal record. It is then visible to the potential employers, landlords and other people who may want to do a background check on you. This is why a felony offense can really complicate things and significantly impact your life.
If you think you have been unjustly charged with a felony DUI offense, it is important that you hire the services of a good attorney.
Hiring a Reliable Felony DUI Attorney in Boise, Idaho
Here at the Hooper Law Offices, we specialize in DUI cases. It is not uncommon for a driver to be unjustly charged with a felony DUI offense. And with the help of our attorneys, you may be able to plead for a less offense, such as a misdemeanor. Our lawyers help you explore all the options and make a decision that is best for you. Call us today to book a free face-to-face session with one of our Boise lawyers.