What Is a Felony DUI in Montana?

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

By , Attorney

Generally, you can get a DUI (driving under the influence) in Montana for driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. In most situations, a DUI conviction is going to be a misdemeanor. But, when a DUI involves certain aggravating factors, a DUI can be charged as a felony.

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

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Conviction Is a Felony

On your first, second, and third DUI, you'll be facing misdemeanor charges. But when you have three or more prior convictions, the fourth or subsequent offense is going to be a felony.

A fourth DUI conviction carries up to five years in prison and $5,000 to $10,000 in fines. Offenders convicted of a fifth or subsequent DUI face 13 months to five years in prison and $5,000 to $10,000 in fines.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

Causing bodily injury to another person while driving under the influence is considered to be "negligent vehicular assault." When the injuries are serious, negligent vehicular assault is a felony and carries up to ten years in prison and a maximum $10,000 in fines.

Negligently causing the death of another person while driving under the influence is "vehicular homicide" and a felony. A conviction carries up to 30 years in prison and a maximum $50,000 in fines.

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