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Misdemeanor & Felony Charges

A Connecticut DUI can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. On this page, we give more information about the different situations that you may find yourself in and what a felony vs. misdemeanor DUI charge will mean for you. For help defending against a DUI, contact us.


There can be confusion on whether a DUI charge is a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Connecticut. While consuming alcohol at the age of 21 years old and over is acceptable, driving a vehicle while intoxicated could be dangerous and if you do drive under the influence, you could get pulled over. Officers search for the signs of a reckless driver on the road and if you are guilty you have severe consequences that you’ll face. Taking responsibility for your actions begins as soon as you consume any alcohol or drugs. 

Felony Vs. Misdemeanor DUI Charge

Usually DUI charges are misdemeanors, but there are exceptions. Infractions are ranked on the severeness of the offense and can result in various ramifications. The different states have limits to the number of DUI offenses a person can receive before it becomes a felony charge. Misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies and the penalties are not as harsh. A major difference is that misdemeanor jail sentences only go up to a year but felony violations are able to be punishable for more than just one year. 

In the 50 states, there are many ways that driving under the influence is referred to. You might hear intoxicated driving referred to as DUI, DWI, OUI, OWI, or DWUI. These all mean that a person is operating a motor vehicle under the influence or while intoxicated. This can mean alcohol or drugs as well. Oftentimes, we think of DUI offenses as having to deal strictly with alcohol, but in some cases there are drug offenses.

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Punishments and Penalties

In Connecticut, the first offense DUI is considered an unclassified misdemeanor. But, every DUI offense after the first one is a felony. The penalties for felony DUI include serious fines, jail time, license suspension, and having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. An exception to a misdemeanor charge for someone’s first DUI charge is if the driver injures or kills a victim. Even without a prior offense, it now becomes a felony because someone else was hurt as a result of your decision.

Getting Help

Misdemeanor and felony charges can affect your future and the goals you once had. With our help, we can find the best resolution to your scenario with an attorney that fights for you. Contact my office for more information on how we can help you.

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