What is a Felony?
In the United States, most jurisdictions recognize a difference between so-called misdemeanor offenses and felony offenses. The former tend to be less serious crimes with jail sentences less than a year long, while the latter are more serious crimes carrying sentences of over a year in prison. Some felonies may even carry the death penalty.
Many felony crimes are more serious “versions” of corresponding misdemeanor charges. In a drug possession case, for example, a defendant found with only a small amount of illegal drugs might receive a misdemeanor conviction, while another defendant with large quantities of the drugs for sale may be charged with a felony instead.
Being convicted of a felony can have far-reaching consequences. In addition to a long jail sentence and heavy fines, having a felony on your record can make it difficult to find a job, bar you from voting, prohibit you from owning a gun, or eliminate your ability to hold public office. These penalties, known as “collateral consequences” of a felony, may vary from state to state, but they are nonetheless devastating to your future.
Can DUI be a Felony?
In the state of Rhode Island, any DUI causing the death of another person is considered a felony offense. In addition, a third-time offender is also charged with a felony DUI.
Don’t let a felony conviction on your record ruin your life for years to come. If you are accused of DUI, make sure to call Rhode Island DUI attorney Matthew Marin at 401-287-4384.