Kansas City DUI Lawyer | Felony DUI

Felony DUI vs Misdemeanor

When charged with a DUI, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.   A misdemeanor carries less significant offense/penalties than a felony.   What separates a felony offense from a misdemeanor offense depends entirely on state laws and the circumstances of the case.  While state laws on felony DUI differ there are several aggravating circumstances that can turn a misdemeanor DUI into a felony.

Blood Alcohol Level

In most states (including Kansas and Missouri) the minimum level that a person is usually charged with a DUI is .08.   However, if the BAC (blood alcohol content) is much higher than .08, that is a factor in determining whether you can be charged with a felony DUI.


A DUI will most likely be charged if the intoxicated driver is involved in an accident and has a BAC higher than .08.   If there is an accident and the driver, a passenger, another driver, or pedestrian is injured, the driver can be charged with a felony DUI.

Prior Offenses

Repeat offenders often face felony DUI charges if they have had previous DUI convictions within a certain time limit.

In Missouri, someone charged with a 3rd DUI can receive a Class D felony for a 3rd offense.   Persistent offenders can also receive up to a year in jail, with a minimum of 5 days served unless a minimum of 30 days community service is served.

In Kansas, a third DUI is a felony if there is a prior DUI within the past ten years.   Other charges after 3 DUI include 90 days to 1 year in jail.    On top of court costs, fees, and probation, fines can also range from $1,750 to $2,500.

Child in the Vehicle

If you are arrested for DUI or DWI with a child in the vehicle (someone under the age of 16), you can be charged with a felony DUI instead of a misdemeanor.

Driving With a Suspended License

Because a license suspension says that you are not legally allowed to drive, if you driving with a suspended license and arrested for a DUI or DWI, you may be charged with a felony DUI instead of a misdemeanor.

There are many legal factors to consider if you have received a DUI.   Contact KCticketlaw for a consultation and to discuss ways that you can fight your charges.

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