4 Frequently Asked Questions about DUIs
Each year, thousands of people in California are stopped for DUIs. Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol has become a more frequent occurrence, leading to an increase in accidents and subsequent arrests. Many people, especially first-time offenders, do not understand the terminology surrounding a DUI case or what the ramifications are of being convicted. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about DUIs that we have heard at our San Jose criminal defense law firm.
Q: What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
A: DUI stands for driving under the influence, whereas DWI stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired. Both of these terms are used to refer to the act of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Q: What is a BAC percentage?
A: The BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, percentage is a measurement of alcohol in a person’s system. Breathalyzers and blood tests are the most common ways to identify a person’s BAC. Depending on the level of your BAC when you are stopped, you can face serious DUI charges.
Q: Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony?
A: Ultimately, the circumstances surrounding your DUI stop will determine whether it will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Generally, the DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor if you have no prior convictions, your BAC wasn’t very high, and there was no personal injury or death involved. Felony DUIs involve a high BAC, personal injury or death, prior convictions, a child passenger in the vehicle, or driving under the influence while your license is suspended.
Q: Do DUIs result in a criminal record?
A: Since a DUI is a criminal offense, it will go on your criminal record. Depending on the severity of the charge, it may remain on your record for the rest of your life.
Have you recently been charged with a DUI? Turn to the team of criminal defense attorneys at Nicholson Law. Contact us today to request your free consultation.