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Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony in KY?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2023 | DUI Defense |

Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in Kentucky. This generally means that motorists must refrain from any significant alcohol use before driving, but impairment can also be created by various drugs and other substances. In fact, even some over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs could lead to allegations of impairment, not just illegal drugs.

Say that you get a DUI for being over the legal limit in terms of alcohol concentration. Maybe you took a breath test, and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.09%. Is that going to be a misdemeanor or a felony?

A first offense will likely be a misdemeanor

Generally speaking, a first offense is just going to be a misdemeanor. It could lead to between two and 30 days behind bars and a fine ranging from $200-$500. A license suspension may be used for the next 30 to 120 days, and an offender may have to go through a substance-abuse program for 90 days. In some cases, individuals also have to do community service, but the court gets to make that decision on a case-by-case basis.

Multiple offenses

If you accumulate multiple DUI offenses, however, a subsequent DUI charge may be classified as a felony. For instance, a fourth DUI offense is a class D felony in Kentucky. The fine can be more than $1,500, and you could have to spend 120 days behind bars with no probation. The license suspension can last for years – 60 months – and a substance-abuse program may also last for a year.

Aggravating factors

Another thing to consider is that aggravating factors may render a DUI charge more severe. Examples of aggravating factors include things like causing an accident, driving with a child in the car or excessively speeding – which means going 30 miles an hour or more over the posted speed limit. Those with aggravating factors are likely to face stricter sentences – even for a first offense – than those who are charged with a simple DUI.

What defense options do you have?

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, it’s important to know if they are a felony or a misdemeanor. This can help you to formulate your plan as you look into your defense options. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the firm at 859-212-0995 for more information.