The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony DUI in Oregon
When facing a DUI charge in Oregon, it's important to understand the potential consequences and penalties you may be facing. One important factor that determines the severity of a DUI charge is whether it is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.
In Oregon, a DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history.
A misdemeanor DUI is generally considered a less serious offense than a felony DUI. Misdemeanor DUIs are typically charged for first or second offenses or in cases where the person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below 0.15%. Misdemeanor DUIs can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.
Felony DUIs, on the other hand, are more serious offenses that carry harsher penalties. Felony DUIs may be charged in cases where the defendant has multiple prior DUI convictions, or if the DUI caused an accident that resulted in injury or death. Felony DUIs can result in a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000.
There are several factors that can increase the severity of a DUI charge in Oregon. These include:
- High BAC: A BAC of 0.15% or higher is considered "per se" drunk driving and can result in a more severe charge.
- Refusal to take a chemical test: Refusing to take a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer, can result in an automatic suspension of your driver license and a more severe sentence.
- Accidents: If a DUI results in an accident that causes injury or death, the charge can be elevated to a felony.
- Prior convictions: If you have multiple prior DUI convictions, you may be charged with a felony.
It's important to note that these are general guidelines and that the specific charges and penalties you may face will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you are facing a DUI charge in Oregon, it's important to consult with a qualified DUI lawyer to understand your options and defend your rights.