Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence is something you should certainly take seriously even if it is your first offense and there were no aggravating circumstances. If, however, you are charged with felony DUI in Nebraska it is essential that you understand the seriousness of the situation. When you are charged with a felony DUI, the stakes are considerably higher because of the increased judicial and non-judicial consequences that may stem from a conviction. What makes a DUI a felony DUI though in Nebraska?
Misdemeanor DUI in Nebraska
As a general rule, a first-time offense for driving under the influence in the State of Nebraska is charged as a Class W misdemeanor. A Class W misdemeanor carries a maximum of 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine if convicted. A second or third DUI may also be charged as a Class W misdemeanor. A second DUI conviction may carry up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine while a third DUI conviction could result in a term of imprisonment of up to one year and up to a $1000 fine. A second DUI, however, may be charged as a Class I misdemeanor which also carries up to one year in prison if you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 percent or higher.
Felony DUI in Nebraska
While a third time DUI may be charged as a misdemeanor offense, it can also be a felony offense if you had a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher. Under those circumstances, a third time DUI is charged as a Class IIIA felony which carries a possible term of imprisonment of up to three years if convicted. A fourth DUI will also be charged as a Class IIIA felony without regard to your BAC level at the time of your arrest. A fourth DUI can also be charged as a higher Class IIA felony though if your BAC level was 0.15 percent or higher at the time of your arrest. A Class IIA felony carries a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 20 years if convicted. A fifth DUI offense is also charged as a Class IIA felony if your BAC level did not exceed 0.15 percent at the time of your arrest. If your BAC level was over 0.15 percent at the time you were arrested for your fifth DUI conviction you will be facing a Class II felony which carries up to 50 years in prison.
In additional to a potential term of imprisonment and hefty fines, a conviction for a felony DUI in Nebraska also carries with it a license revocation of up to 15 years. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a significant period of time once any period of incarceration is complete.
Non-Judicial Consequences of a Felony DUI Conviction
Along with the judicial consequences of a DUI conviction — meaning those consequences directly imposed by the court—there are a number of non-judicial consequences of which you should be aware, including:
- Possible loss of current and future employment
- Increased liability insurance premiums
- Potential for disciplinary action if you hold a professional license (attorney, doctor, teacher etc.)
- Loss of right to vote
- Disqualification to purchase and/or carry a firearm
- Interference with your rights with minor children
What Should You Do If You Are Facing Felony DUI Charges in Nebraska?
The best way to avoid the numerous negative consequences of a felony DUI conviction in Nebraska is to avoid the conviction itself you find yourself charged with a felony DUI in Nebraska the best thing you can do for yourself is to retain the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney to protect you and your interests throughout the prosecution of your case.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, as a felony in Nebraska contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.