In California, most DUI charges are misdemeanor charges. There are only a few ways that a DUI can be charged as a felony. The first way a DUI can be a felony is if it is the fourth DUI within a ten-year period. This counts DUI charges from other states as well. Another way that a DUI can be charged as a felony is if there is a previous felony DUI conviction on the person’s record. A DUI can be charged as a felony if the drunken driving leads to an accident that causes serious injuries. Finally, a DUI can be charged as a felony if it leads to the death of another person.
The LaGrange, Illinois Patch reports that a California man with repeat DUI offenses has been arrested after a crash that injured a mother and child.
The incident happened on Friday afternoon.
64-year-old James J. Nagel, a resident of Arleta, California, crashed into a vehicle near the Brookfield Zoo. An unidentified 34-year-old woman and her 2-year-old daughter were injured in the crash. They were transported to Loyola University Medical Center with serious injuries.
Just minutes after police responded to the crash near the zoo, they received a call regarding another crash at Wabaunsee Road. When officers arrived, they discovered Nagel behind the wheel.
An officer approached Nagel’s vehicle, which was still running and in gear. Nagel was incoherent and the officer asked him repeatedly to turn of the car. Nagel did not comply. As Nagel started to lurch forward, the officer forced the car window down, reach into the vehicle, and remove the keys.
Nagel suffered from undisclosed injuries and was taken to the hospital. His passenger was not injured.
Nagel was charged with felony aggravated DUI, drugged driving, being under the influence of heroin, heroin possession, and other traffic violations.
Nagel holds a commercial driver’s license in California, and he has three previous DUI convictions. A fingerprint analysis revealed 16 different aliases, six dates of birth, and 35 previous arrests.