Felony DUI in North Dakota
Fourth DUI in 15 Years is a Felony
In North Dakota, if you are charged with your fourth DUI in 15 years you face a Class C felony. Punishments for a Class C felony are harsh, and include:
- A minimum of one year and one day in prison
- a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000
- two years’ participation in a 24/7 sobriety program
- two years of supervised probation and
- evaluation for alcohol addiction
A felony DUI charge should not be taken lightly.
If you have been charged with felony DUI you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows North Dakota DUI law, can present your best defenses, and can help minimize the collateral consequences of a felony conviction.
Most DUIs are a Misdemeanor Charge
You can be charged with a DUI if you are driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or higher, or if a police officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If this is your first, second, or third DUI offense in 15 years and there are no extenuating circumstances you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is any crime punishable by less than one year in prison.
If this is your fourth DUI in 15 years, or if there are extenuating circumstances, you are facing a felony DUI charge.
A felony is any crime punishable by more than one year in prison.
You can be charged with felony DUI if someone is injured or killed in a collision caused when you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if you are over 21 years of age and are charged with a DUI while a minor is in the vehicle with you.
Felony DUI for Vehicular Injury or Vehicular Homicide
If another person was injured as a result of your driving under the influence, or if someone was killed in a collision caused when you were driving while intoxicated, you face felony DUI charges.
Bodily Injuries. A DUI that involves a serious bodily injury can result in Class C felony charges punishable by one to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Deadly Accidents. If someone is killed in a DUI-related incident, you face a Class A felony punishable by three to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Felony DUI for Child in the Car
If you are over the age of 21 and were charged with DUI with a minor in the car you face a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction
A felony conviction carries lifelong consequences.
If you are convicted of a felony you lose many basic civil rights such as the right to vote, the right to sit on a jury, and the right to own or possess a firearm.
Many employers will not hire people who are convicted felons. In some cases, convicted felons are prohibited from certain types of employment, such as careers in law enforcement, schools, and hospitals.
Some employers will reject people who have a felony conviction, or state in a job posting that applicants must have a clean background check.
If you are contemplating a career change, a felony conviction makes it more difficult to enter professions like nursing, medicine, teaching, real estate, insurance, transportation, financial services, and the practice of law.
A felony conviction can also make it difficult to obtain financial aid to further your education.
If you already have a professional license, a felony conviction could mean that you forfeit your license or jeopardize your ability to work in your chosen field.
Fremstad Law Can Help Move Your Forward from a Felony DUI Charge
If you have been charged with a felony DUI in North Dakota, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Fremstad Law can help.
Our lawyers can challenge whether the traffic stop was legal. If the police officer did not have probable cause to believe that you broke the law, or lacked probable cause to believe that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the case against you could be dismissed.
Even if the case is not dismissed, the problems with the evidence could be enough to convince the prosecutor to agree to a plea deal that could involve a lesser crime or lighter penalties.
If you were charged with an alcohol-related DUI, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can challenge whether the equipment used to test your BAC was properly calibrated and whether the results were accurate. If there were prior malfunctions or inaccurate results the results of your test might not be admissible.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can also help to minimize the collateral consequences of a felony DUI charge by working with professional licensing boards so that you do not lose your professional license.