Q:

Is a DUI a misdemeanor?

A:

Quick Answer

A DUI, or driving under the influence, is typically defined as a misdemeanor, as described by DUIFoundation.org. However, there are circumstances that can justify raising the level of the offense to a felony. Those circumstances are dependent on the state and their standards for defining DUI’s.

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Full Answer

DUI is also commonly referred to as DWI, for driving while intoxicated. DUIMisdemeanor.org explains that for first time offenders the charge of DUI is usually a misdemeanor. If the offender has been charged with multiple DUI offenses the charge may be raised to a felony. In some states, if the offense involves bodily injury to a victim the charge can automatically be designated as a felony.

Punishments vary depending on whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The penalty for misdemeanors is generally a fine or jail sentence of a year or less. Felonies are punishable by larger fines and jail sentences of a year or more.

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