Drunk driving charges are never something you want to receive, but they are not all created equal. Depending on the nature of the offense an officer believes you committed, you may receive charges ranging from infraction to misdemeanor to felony. Depending on the nature of your charges, you could face wildly different sentencing under a conviction.

An infraction is the most desirable type of charge, if you cannot avoid receiving one. While it is technically an offense, infractions generally do not show up on a criminal record and are often resolved easily by paying a fine of some sort. With proper legal counsel, you might get a more serious charge reduced to an infraction, which is the next best thing to having charges dropped altogether.

Misdemeanors are more serious charges, and can result in fines and even jail time. Most drunk driving charges are in the misdemeanor category. Under a misdemeanor charge, you do maintain the right to a trial if you choose to insist on it. If convicted under misdemeanor charges, you may face trouble finding work or lose a professional license.

Felony drunk driving charges are the most serious, and carry the heaviest penalties. If you receive a felony DUI charge, you have some very difficult decisions before you. If convicted, you lose many privileges and access to help you may depend on, such as public assistance benefits. It is always wise to do everything in your power to fight any drunk driving charge, but fighting felony charges is absolutely necessary. A felony charge can land you in jail for years and make living your life virtually impossible.

If you face any kind of drunk driving charges, you owe it to yourself to seek out strong, experienced help to fight them. An experienced attorney can help you examine your options and build a personalized defense to protect your rights and freedoms.

Source: Lifesafer, “The Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor DUI,” Charles Hickman, accessed Aug. 18, 2017