There’s no denying the fact that a misdemeanor DUI is serious business. It can affect you in many ways, from your ability to operate a motor vehicle in the future to jail time.

However, a felony DUI is much more serious. In addition to stiffer penalties, it’s more likely to affect you for the rest of your life.

What is a felony DUI?

You know a felony DUI is more serious, but you may not have the first clue about when this could come into play. Here are some of the most common situations that result in this type of DUI charge:

  • Extremely high blood alcohol concentration level: For example, in the state of Tennessee, if you have a blood alcohol concentration level of .20 or above, it can result in felony charges.
  • Bodily harm: When you drive drunk, there’s more at risk than your own health, safety and well-being. You are also putting other people at danger. If you harm someone while driving drunk, such as if you hit a pedestrian, it could result in a felony DUI.
  • Prior conviction: If you were arrested for DUI in the past, you would hope that it teaches you a lesson. However, people make mistakes, and it’s possible that you could find yourself in the same trouble in the future. A prior conviction could lead you down the path toward a felony.
  • Driving with children in your vehicle: It’s important to be extremely safe when driving with children in your vehicle, and that means never consuming alcohol before you get behind the wheel. Doing so can result in felony DUI charges.
  • Driving on a suspended license: If your license is suspended, you can’t operate a motor vehicle for any reason. Should you make this mistake, a felony DUI could be the end result.

There is never a good time to drive under the influence of alcohol. Doing so puts you and everyone else on the road at risk.

If you’re charged with a felony DUI, it’s critical that you take action to protect your legal rights. For example, with the right defense strategy you may be able to have your charges reduced.