DUI charges are usually misdemeanor offenses, but there are several ways it can be elevated to a felony. For a third-offense DUI in Nebrask,a when the driver has a blood alcohol content of more than 0.15%, he or she could be charged with a felony DUI. A third-offense DUI within the previous 15 years can be charged as a felony. Also, a fourth or fifth DUI offense may also be charged as a felony.
When someone is charged with a misdemeanor DUI in Omaha, the case usually begins with an arraignment and is set for trial. With a felony DUI, the case begins with an arraignment and the person has a right to a preliminary hearing which is a determination by a judge to decide whether there is enough probable cause to move forward with the case.
If there probable cause, the case is transferred to the district court in Omaha. The district court judge sets a pretrial to determine whether there is a trial. The individual has the right to have a jury trial or a bench trial with a judge.
Felony offenses carry significant penalties and long-term repercussions. If you are facing charges, reach out to an Omaha felony DUI lawyer today. Let an experienced DUI attorney from the Berry Law Firm fight for you.
Defending Felony DUI Charges
The initial steps for building a felony DUI defense are similar to a misdemeanor. An Omaha felony DUI attorney wants to verify whether there was probable cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle. The lawyer also wants to see if the field sobriety tests and blood alcohol testing were conducted correctly. There may be constitutional issues with the case which could lead to the case being thrown out. The attorney will gather evidence which may include images from body cams and other available videos.
Felony DUI charges are more challenging to defend because there are more steps and additional hearings in the case. The defendant faces prison time if convicted. Therefore, the lawyer will have an increased focus on whether the defendant should accept a plea deal or take the case to trial.
Felony DUI Penalties
With an aggravated third-offense DUI in Omaha, an individual could be charged with a Class IIIA felony. The penalties include a mandatory minimum of 180 days up to three years in jail, a $10,000 fine, and license revocation for 15 years. If someone gets probation, he or she could lose his or her license for five to 15 years, receive a $1,000 fine, and be given the mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail.
If someone is charged with a fourth offense non-aggravated DUI, the penalties are similar to a third-offense aggravated DUI and include 180 days in jail, a mandatory minimum of up to three years in jail, a $10,000 fine, and a 15-years revocation of his or her driver’s license. If an individual is given probation, he or she faces a 15-year license revocation, a $2,000 fine, and a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail.
If the fourth offense is aggravated because the BAC is higher than 0.15, the person faces up to 20 years in jail, up to a $25,000 fine, and a mandatory minimum loss of his or her license for 15 years. If he or she is given probation, the penalties include a mandatory 15-year license revocation, a mandatory $2,000 fine, and 120 days in jail.
With a fifth-offense DUI, one faces a mandatory minimum of two years in jail up to a maximum of 20 years, a $25,000 fine, and a 15-year license revocation. If the person is given probation, he or she is looking at a 15-year license revocation, a $2,000 fine, and 180 days in jail minimum. Conviction for an aggravated fifth-offense DUI carries penalties of a mandatory minimum of two up to 50 years in jail and a 15-year license revocation. If the individual is given probation, he or she faces a 15-year license revocation, a $2,000 fine, and 180 days in jail.
Individuals facing these penalties should consult with a felony DUI lawyer in Omaha as soon as possible.
An Omaha Felony DUI Attorney Could Help
A local lawyer is most helpful to a defendant because he or she knows the local prosecutors and judges, as well as the court procedures. An Omaha felony DUI lawyer knows the options in detail related to a drunk driving case for the jurisdiction and most likely are acquainted with the police officers involved. Also, an accomplished attorney knows which defense strategies may have success. If you are facing charges, call today.