Will Your DWI Charge Be Considered A Felony Or Misdemeanor?
When you get pulled over while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is highly likely that you will get a free ride in a police car to the local jail. Police officers have the duty of acting when they detect impairment in drivers, and the person driving will then face a DUI or DWI. If this is where you stand right now, you might want to know how the court will charge this crime. Is it a felony or misdemeanor? Here are some of the factors that affect this decision.
Your Criminal History
One of the leading factors that affect this decision is a person's criminal history. Your criminal history is a report that details every crime you have ever committed. It does not include charges that the court dropped or those that resulted in an innocent verdict. It only includes charges that the court convicted you of in your past.
If you have a criminal history, especially with prior DUI or DWI charges in it, there is a much higher chance that the court will pursue the current charge as a felony. If your history is clear and empty, there is a good chance the court will agree to charge it as a misdemeanor.
Whether you have a criminal history or not, you should hire an experienced DWI lawyer. Your lawyer will also investigate your past and will examine the details of the arrest. The lawyer's goal is to find a way to help you receive the minimum penalties and consequences from the crime. If there is a strategy the lawyer can use to ensure that the charge is a misdemeanor, the attorney will use it.
The Details of the Crime in Question
Finally, the court will decide how to pursue the charges by examining the details of the crime. One significant issue they will evaluate is whether your actions harmed anyone else. If your arrest took place after you collided with another vehicle, you would likely receive a felony charge from the DWI. If you tried to outrun the police, they might also be more inclined to pursue felony charges on you.
The best thing you can do during a traffic stop is to cooperate with the local officials. If this lands you in jail, then call a DWI lawyer. Your lawyer will help you fight the charges you face from this crime.
To learn more, contact DWI lawyers in your area.