DUIs, especially a DUI that doesn’t involve anyone getting hurt or a significant amount of property damage, generally aren’t considered a felony. That means that if you’ve been convicted of driving while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol and are only convicted of a DUI and not any additional felony-level drug charges, you won’t have to worry about being barred from owning firearms.
However, if you have previous DUI convictions on your record, you do have reason to worry. Current California law treats the fourth DUI conviction during a 10-year period as a felony. Since felons are prohibited from owning firearms, that fourth DUI conviction means you’ll have to dispose of your firearms.
The other way a DUI conviction can negatively impact your ability to own a firearm is if you’re convicted of a felony DUI. The first time you’re convicted of a felony DUI, you lose your right to be around any firearms.
Ways you’re DUI Episode could Become a Felony
There are a few different ways you’re DUI episode could become a felony.
The most common source of felony DUIs in California is injuring or killing someone while you were driving under the influence.
Another way your DUI could become a felony DUI is if you have already had a prior conviction for a felony DUI. Once you’ve been convicted of a felony DUI, and future DUI instances you’re involved with instantly become felonies as well, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding that particular driving incident.
In addition to being barred from owning any firearms, a felony DUI conviction will also result in you spending time in a state prison and having to pay substantial fines. You’ll also face a lengthy period of time where you’ll not be allowed to drive. While many people with a felony DUI conviction never regain their driving privileges, in some cases, the driver’s license is restored, though the driver does have to agree to have an ignition lock installed on their vehicle.
DUI arrests, even ones that are only misdemeanors, are serious. A conviction can have a serious impact on your future. Since California’s DUI laws can be difficult to navigate, it’s in your best interest to enlist the aid of an experienced DUI attorney who will make sure your rights are upheld.
It is possible to be released on bail following a DUI arrest. However, it is imperative that you remain sober while you’re out on bail and don’t get into any additional legal trouble, which could result in your bail being revoked.