What Is a Felony DUI in Michigan?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

In Michigan, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol, or with any amount of a controlled substance in your system. Most DUI convictions are misdemeanor criminal offenses. However, certain aggravating factors can make a DUI a felony, a more serious criminal offense.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in Michigan.

Third DUI Conviction Is a Felony

Generally, a first or second DUI conviction is a misdemeanor in Michigan. But if you have two or more priors, the current offense can be charged as a felony. A conviction carries one to five years in prison (unless the judge grants probation), $500 to $5,000 in fines, and a five-year license revocation.

Minors in the Vehicle

A DUI involving a minor passenger (under the age of 16) is a felony if the driver has at least one prior conviction within the past seven years or at least two prior convictions in his or her lifetime. A conviction carries one to five years in prison (unless the judge grants probation) and $500 to $5,000 in fines.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

DUIs involving serious injuries ("serious impairment of a body function") are felonies and carry up to five years in prison and $1,000 to $5,000 in fines.

Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence is a felony and carries up to 15 years in prison and $2,500 to $10,000 in fines (the penalties are increased if the victim was a police officer or other emergency services personnel).

The penalties for either of these offenses are more severe if the defendant has prior convictions within the past seven years and a high BAC.

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