When a person is caught driving under the influence in New York, their actions can be classified as either a misdemeanor crime or a felony depending on the specifics of their situation. Before diving into how a person’s DUI will be classified, it is first important to understand what the difference is between the two.

A felony is a very serious crime which can result in a person going to state prison for over a year. A misdemeanor, on the other hand, is a less serious crime which can only result in a maximum of one year in county jail. Felonies often include crimes such as murders and serious thefts, whereas misdemeanor crimes involve actions such as defying officers and committing minor traffic infractions.

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What qualifies my DUI as a felony?

In most cases, a first time DUI which did not result in any serious accidents, injuries or death will be treated as a misdemeanor crime. However, if this is the second or third time a person is being charged for a DUI within the last ten years then it may be treated as a felony.

Also, if a person committed other crimes as well, such as refusing to give a test to have their blood alcohol content checked or they also got into an accident which resulted in the death of other drivers and passengers then their actions will be treated as a felony and they will be penalized accordingly.

The more damage and harm the driver caused and the more severely intoxicated they were, the more severe penalties they will be forced to face after they are arrested.

Is it necessary that I go to state prison after being convicted of a felony?

The bad news is that in most cases regarding felonies, individuals do have to undergo a certain period of jail time in state prison. However, the good news is that a person can have their sentence reduced or even revoked by getting a qualified DUI lawyer in Brooklyn, NY to represent them and fight their case for them.

With the right evidence and the correct legal references, a DUI lawyer can help a person come out of their court trial with less penalties hanging over their head.

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Is driving around after getting my license suspended treated as a misdemeanor crime or a felony?

When a person first gets accused of DUI they will not be able to drive their vehicle around as one of the first penalties they will be faced with is a suspension of their driver’s license. If a person ignores this suspension and continues to drive around as they please or if they try to get a new license and use that to drive around they can face very serious charges of aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO). AUO can be further categorized into first degree, second degree, and third degree.  If a person commits an AUO of the first degree it will be classified as a felony. However, if they commit AUO of the second or third degree then they will be charged as having committed a misdemeanor crime.