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Georgia Felony DUI

All DUIs are serious and carry with them the possibility of at least some jail time, probation, fines, and suspension of driving privileges. That said, most DUI cases are charged as Misdemeanor offenses. That means that they carry a maximum sentence of one year, which may be served either in jail or on probation. However, there are certain circumstances under which a DUI or DUI-related charge can be charged as a Felony offense, which means that the minimum sentence is one year.

These are:

  • A fourth DUI in a 10 year period,
  • Child Endangerment, in certain circumstances,
  • Serious Injury by Vehicle, and
  • Vehicular Homicide predicated upon certain offenses.

A Fourth or Subsequent DUI in a 10-Year Period

A person who is charged with his or her fourth or subsequent DUI within a 10 year period will be facing Felony DUI charges. The Georgia DUI law requires judges to sentence those convicted of a 4th or subsequent DUI in 10 years to at least 90 days in jail, although many judges will be inclined to sentence a repeat offender to much more than 90 days.  The maximum prison time a judge can require for a Felony DUI is 5 years.

Child Endangerment

A third or subsequent charge of Child Endangerment is considered a felony offense. Child Endangerment consists of the transportation of one or more children while the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in violation of the DUI statute. It is important to note that it is possible for child endangerment charges to be elevated to felony status even on a first offense. For example, a person who receives a DUI with three children in the car may immediately be charged with felony DUI, because the multiple child endangerment charges do not merge with each other and they do not merge with the DUI charge.

Serious Injury by Vehicle

Serious Injury by Vehicle, which may be predicated either upon a DUI or a Reckless Driving charge, is a felony offense. Serious Injury by Vehicle carries a minimum sentence of one year, with the maximum sentence being 15 years in prison.

Vehicular Homicide Predicated Upon Certain Offenses

Predicate offenses that will result in Felony Vehicular Homicide charge include:

  • DUI,
  • Reckless driving,
  • Fleeing/Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement,
  • Improper Passing of a School Bus,
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and
  • Causing the death of another person while driving as a Habitual Violator on a revoked license.

Why hire an attorney for a Felony DUI matter?

If you are charged with any of the above Felony DUI-related matters, you are facing at least one year in prison. Georgia judges take these cases very seriously, and you should not handle these cases alone. Call me today.

URGENT: If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you have only 30 days to appeal the administrative suspension of your driver’s license or to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you fail to act, your license will be suspended. Do not wait until your license is suspended. Know your options. Get in touch today.



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Writer

Kevin Fisher


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