In California, a DUI charge is typically a misdemeanor. However, there are a few ways in which a DUI charge can become a felony, resulting in harsher fines and steeper penalties. The first way that a DUI charge can become a felony is if it is a person’s fourth DUI offense within 10 years. Another way that a DUI can become a felony is when a person has a previous felony DUI conviction. A DUI can be charged as a felony if the DUI caused an accident that resulted in injuries or if the accident killed another person.
NBC Los Angeles reports on a man charged with felony DUI after striking a traffic officer.
The accident happened on Saturday when a Civilian Anaheim Traffic Control Assistant was parked in her marked vehicle on the 1900 block of West La Palma Avenue, just across the street from Servite High School.
At about 1:21 p.m., 34-year-old Jose Alfredo Alcantar Garcia crashed his pickup truck as she was stopped in the course of performing traffic control duties. She was ejected from the vehicle and suffered from critical injuries.
Witnesses and paramedics rushed to the scene to render aid. She was taken to a trauma center.
This wasn’t the first accident that Garcia had been in that day. Police confirmed that before he struck the traffic control officer, he had struck another vehicle.
Garcia was booked on charges of felony DUI causing injury, possession of methamphetamine for sale, distribution of methamphetamine, and driving on a suspended driver’s license. Police added a hit-and-run charge after determining he had hit a vehicle before the second accident.
Bail was set at $100,000.