As a general rule, a felony conviction for DUI carries longer jail terms and comes with other enhanced penalties. This is because Tennessee and most other states define a felony as a more serious offense. In New York, there are two levels of felony drunk driving. The type of felony a person receives depends on whether they have had past drunk driving convictions and when they occurred.
Typically, those who are charged with DUI for the first time will face a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. However, this is not always the case. For instance, if there is significant property damage or a person is hurt or killed, the charge may be upgraded. Those who are convicted of a felony charge may lose their license for a significant period of time. They may also lose a professional license or otherwise be limited in where they can work.
If a person is charged with felony drunk driving it may result in a significant fine in addition to having a drivers license suspended or revoked. Jail or prison time may also be part of a sentence depending on the circumstances of a case. Therefore, it may be best for an individual to seek the guidance of an attorney. Doing so may make it possible to create a defense to a drunk driving charge.
For instance, it may be possible to question whether an officer handled a blood or urine test properly. Questions may also be raised about the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test. In some cases, it may be effective to question whether there was probable cause to conduct the traffic stop that may have lead to a DUI charge. This may result in drunk driving charges being thrown out by a judge.