What Makes a DUI a Felony in Idaho?
There are several ways that a DUI becomes a Felony in Idaho. Below are explanations for the most common methods where individuals are charged with Felony DUI in Idaho.
Third DUI in 10 Years
A DUI becomes a felony in Idaho a number of ways. The most common, however, is by having 3 DUIs within 10 years. This means that if you have already pled guilty or have been found guilty of a DUI two times within ten years, and within that same 10 years you get another DUI, the third DUI will be charged as a Felony. Although it may seem strange for someone to pick up 3 DUIs in 10 years, it is still the most common way Felony DUIs are charged in Idaho.
Second Excessive within 5 Years
Another method of being charged with a Felony DUI is if it is a Second Excessive DUI within 5 years. An excessive DUI is when you have failed a Breath or Blood Alcohol test with an amount of .20 or higher. So, if within the last 5 years you have a DUI where your breath alcohol level was .23, and you pick up another DUI where your breath alcohol level was .21, then you can be charged with a Felony DUI.
Any DUI within 15 Years After Receiving a Felony DUI
In Idaho, if you have pled guilty to a felony DUI of any sort, and you get another DUI within 15 years of the prior Felony DUI, then you will be charged with a Felony DUI. So, if in 2020 you received a Felony DUI, any other DUI that you receive before 2035 will be charged as a Felony and you will be subject to prison time.
Punishment for Felony DUIs
The maximum punishment for most DUI cases is 10 years in prison. Although DUI charges are common, Felony DUIs are treated very seriously by Idaho Courts because typically at this point someone has been caught multiple times with DUI, but they continue to drive despite getting in trouble on previous occasions. Judges have a real concern in these cases that if they leave these individuals on the street someone is going to get hurt. Therefore, it is not uncommon for people to actually go to prison on these charges. It is important that you take these charges seriously and hire counsel that is well versed in this area of law and understand the specific prosecutors and judges handling these cases. Mr. Hooper has significant experience in handling DUI and Felony DUI cases. He is familiar with the way these cases are handled in, Boise, the Treasure Valley, and other areas of the state of Idaho. If you have been charged, please reach out to Hooper Law Offices at 208-631-1973