When most people think of the term “felony DUI,” they probably think of multiple DUIs on a person’s driving record. That’s because here in New York, as well as in other states, successive DUI convictions are treated as felonies, meaning steeper penalties for those who are accused. But here in New York, this isn’t the only way in which a person could face a felony DUI charge.
Have you ever heard of Leandra’s Law? If you’re a long-time inhabitant of our state, chances are you have. But if you’re new to our state, you may be unfamiliar with this section of our criminal law. Whichever category you fall into, reading today’s post is a good idea because failing to adhere to this law can lead to harsh legal consequences.
As we explained in an article we wrote, which is supported by information found on safeny.ny.gov, a person who drives a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be charged with a class E felony if a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle at the time. Penalties are escalated to a class B felony if the child is killed, meaning a person could face up to 25 years in prison instead of four years with a class E felony.
In addition to the possibility of losing your freedom for several years, those prosecuted under Leandra’s Law will also lose their driver’s license during prosecution. An ignition interlock device will also be installed on any vehicle the accused owns or operates.
As you have probably gathered, felony DUIs are serious business and should never be brushed off or ignored. Talking to a criminal defense attorney can make this more apparent as they will be able to explain how the law will apply to your specific situation.