For a complete discussion on DUIs, please refer to the appropriate page. Once you understand the nature of a DUI the next big question is to know whether it will be treated as a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI. To better address this topic, you need to understand what misdemeanor means.
A misdemeanor is a lesser criminal act that usually carries a maximum sentence of one year. It applies to situations when the actions leading to the arrest affect other and society only to a low degree of seriousness.
As it applies to Driving Under the Influence in San Diego (or California in general), the mere fact that you are driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) 0.08% or above constitutes a misdemeanor DUI even if your ability to drive does not show signs of impairment. In some cases you may be arrested for a driving violation even if your alcohol level does not reach the legal level of 0.08% on the breath test. This is referred to as a violation of “less safe driving” and must be proved in court by the arresting officer and witnesses.
If this is your first, second, or third offense within a five year period and there is no significant property damage and/or bodily harm the case will generally be prosecuted as a misdemeanor DUI.
The severity of the penalty for misdemeanor DUI in San Diego will depend on whether you have prior offenses, your actual blood level or aggravating circumstances such as hit and run, transporting a minor or if drugs are involved. Depending on the number and severity of these aggravating factors the prosecutor may request that the case be treated as a felony DUI.
If you or a loved one were stopped for a misdemeanor DUI in San Diego, call our San Diego misdemeanor DUI expert immediately at (619) 258-8888. Do not make any statements or pay bail before consulting with our San Diego Criminal Lawyer. No matter the circumstances, we will mount the most effective defense for you and attempt to avoid a misdemeanor DUI conviction.