DUI charges and sentencing considerations in West Virginia

Penalties associated with a conviction for driving under the influence vary based on a number of important factors. One of these is whether the DUI offense was charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

But how do prosecutors decide which offenses are felonies and which are misdemeanors? And what other factors could influence DUI charges in your case? In today’s post, we’ll discuss some considerations for penalties associated DUI offenses here in West Virginia.

One of the factors that can make a DUI a felony is whether or not you have prior DUI convictions on your record. West Virginia law treats a third offense as a felony. Conviction for a third DUI offense can come with serious penalties, including:

  • Three years of jail time
  • The mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
  • A license suspension of up to one year
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Losing your right to bear firearms

There are number of other factors that can influence your charges and sentencing. These include:

  • Allegedly driving drunk with minor children in the car
  • Allegedly driving drunk with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or higher
  • Allegedly injuring or killing someone (another driver, passenger, etc.) in an alcohol-related crash
  • Allegedly driving drunk on a suspended license

Specific charges often depend on the totality of the circumstances, and these are just some of the factors that can influence how you may be charged. In any case, you should seek the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney right away.

Source: FindLaw, “What Makes a DUI a Felony?” Daniel Taylor, Nov. 20, 2014

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