It is common for state laws to impose harsher penalties on people who receive multiple DUI convictions. However, there are circumstances where even a first-time offender may face more severe consequences.
Is it possible for a first-time DUI to result in a felony conviction?
The most common reason Nebraska drivers face felony DUI charges is that they have three or more prior DUI convictions. Several other circumstances could result in a felony charge:
- Driver caused an accident while intoxicated that resulted in serious injuries
- Driver has two previous DUI convictions and a blood alcohol level of .15% or higher
- Driver has two previous DUI convictions and refused to submit to a chemical test
Penalties for felony DUI
A felony DUI conviction may result in a prison sentence of 180 days to three years and as much as $10,000 in fines. Additionally, you may lose your driver’s license for 15 years.
In addition to a felony DUI charge, if you cause the death of another person due to driving under the influence, you may receive a vehicular homicide charge. Vehicular homicide is a class IIA felony that could result in a sentence of up to 20 years.
While most felony DUI convictions result from multiple DUIs, if you cause a serious accident while driving under the influence, you could receive a felony conviction. Felony DUI convictions carry serious penalties. If you have caused an injury accident while driving under the influence, it may be wise to seek legal counsel.