Felony DUI Defense in Santa Barbara and Ventura

Have You Been Charged With a Felony DUI?

We’ve Been Successfully Helping People In Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, And Southern California With All Types Of DUI Charges For Years. When someone drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California, it’s typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense on a first, second or third time DUI offense providing there weren’t any “aggravating factors” present which would include driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or above, speeding, driving with a child in the vehicle, or causing bodily injury or death. There are situations where a California drunk driving charge may result in felony charges and these include:

In the state of California, DUI is considered a “priorable” offense, which means that each subsequent offense incurs stiffer fines and penalties if you were convicted for a similar offense. If you have three or more DUI convictions within the last ten years and are arrested for a fourth DUI, you will most likely be charged with a felony DUI. With respect to drunk driving offenses, a prior offense can include a California DUI, a California “wet reckless” or an out-of-state DUI or any combination thereof. The penalties for a fourth DUI within the last ten years include from 16 months to 3 years in prison or a jail sentence of 180 days to 1 year, a maximum fine of $1,000, and a license revocation for four years.

What Are The Consequences of a California Felony DUI Conviction?

Prison Time

A felony DUI conviction can lead to significant prison time. Depending on the circumstances of the case, individuals convicted of felony DUI in California can face anywhere from 16 months to several years in state prison.


Alongside incarceration, courts may impose lengthy probation terms upon those convicted of felony DUI. These terms often involve strict conditions, such as mandatory alcohol counseling, regular drug testing, and limitations on driving privileges. Violating probation terms can result in additional penalties, including more prison time.

Fines and Restitution

A Felony DUI conviction often results in significantly higher fines compared to misdemeanor offenses. Courts often order felony DUI drivers to pay the victims for medical bills, missed work and other expenses. Some of these claims can exceed $100,000.

Loss of Driver's License

A felony DUI conviction can result in drivers license suspension for at least one, and up to ten years. Even after completing your sentence, you may encounter difficulties in restoring your driving privileges, as the California DMV may impose strict requirements and conditions. 

Increased Insurance Rates

A felony DUI conviction can lead to a substantial increase in your auto insurance premiums. Some insurance providers may even refuse to renew your policy or require you to obtain costly high-risk insurance.

Criminal Record

A felony DUI conviction results in a permanent mark on your criminal record. This record can have far-reaching consequences, impacting your ability to secure employment, housing, educational opportunities, professional licenses, and even custody arrangements.

Professional Repercussions

For individuals in certain professions, such as healthcare, education, or law enforcement, a felony DUI conviction can lead to the suspension or revocation of professional licenses. Even for those in other fields, employers may view a felony conviction as grounds for termination or refusal to hire.

Contact Ridley Defense

A Felony DUI is a serious, life-changing event with severe consequences. Addressing the charge quickly and aggressively is essential to receiving the best possible outcome.  An experienced DUI attorney has the knowledge and  resources necessary to navigate the complexities of the legal system.  Ridley Defense can assess the details of your case, identify potential defenses, and advocate on your behalf in court. Without skilled legal representation, you risk facing the full force of the law and enduring the long-lasting repercussions of a felony DUI conviction.

To learn more about your DUI case and what types of defense strategies we would employ on your behalf, contact a Ventura DUI attorney from Ridley Defense by calling (805) 208-1866 today!

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Whether you need advisement, negotiation, damage control, or aggressive courtroom representation, our caring, compassionate, and tactically brilliant attorneys will fight for you.

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