Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense
Criminal Defense 40 + Years Experience

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Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense
Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense


  • Top Lawyers - San Diego Magazine
  • Former Deputy San Diego City Attorney
  • Former USMC Captain
  • Located Directly Across From Vista Courthouse
  • Over 150 Five Star Reviews on Google and Yelp

Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Could You Face Felony DUI Charges?

Last updated on November 8, 2023

For over 40-plus years located across from Vista Courts and having handled 4,000-plus DUI cases, Nicholas and William Christoph provide the highest level of professional and personal representation in both misdemeanor and felony DUI cases. They have handled many DUI with injury cases, and even cases involving death in Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, San Marcos, Encinitas and Carlsbad.

When Is a DUI Considered a Felony?

Felony DUI charges include a fourth DUI within 10 years, DUI with injury, or DUI within 10 years of having a felony DUI charge. The basic driving under the influence code sections are California Vehicle Code (VC) 23152(a), VC 23152(b), “Wet Reckless” VC 23103(a) per VC 23103.5, Felony DUI with injury VC 23153(a), and VC 23153(b).

These are very serious charges with potentially severe consequences. Not only are there criminal sanctions that can include jail, fines and license suspensions, but there are also DMV consequences that need to be addressed.

Let our defense lawyers use their professional experience and ability to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. They will give you an honest, realistic appraisal of your case and always be available for you concerning your case. Peer review-rated+ highest in legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell, and located directly across from Vista Courts for over 40 years, they are available 24/7.

Are DUIs Involving Accidents Always Charged as Felonies?

Christoph Law Offices defends people who have been accused of felony and misdemeanor DUI offenses. Misdemeanor DUIs generally include a first, second or even third offense and DUI cases that do not result in injury. The penalties for conviction of a misdemeanor DUI are much less severe than those associated with a felony DUI, which could involve state prison.

Just having an accident does not make the DUI a felony unless there is a third party injured as a result of the DUI driver. A misdemeanor driving under the influence accident with property damage only may still have enhanced penalties as a result of the accident, but remain a misdemeanor.

Felony DUIs include:

  • Any DUI within 10 years of a prior felony DUI conviction is a felony regardless of injury.
  • Any fourth (or more) DUI offense within 10 years is a felony.
  • A DUI causing an accident resulting in injury to another person. Even soft tissue injuries can be sufficient for felony DUI with injury. This charge is extremely serious and may result in significant jail time and even state prison. If there is a GBI (great bodily injury), a GBI enhancement can add three years in state prison and make the charge a strike under the Three Strikes law, which greatly increases the stakes. Every DUI with injury case is different. Depending on the facts, level of danger of the driving, blood alcohol level, extent of the injuries, and prior record, the charges may be reduced to a misdemeanor or consequences minimized. There may be alternatives to custody that are available, like work furlough or Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM).
  • DUI manslaughter: Causing the death of another person while driving intoxicated can be either DUI manslaughter with gross negligence punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or simple negligence that carries up to four years. Even second-degree murder may be filed in a very aggravated case.

Looking for free legal advice? We offer free lawyer consultations and case evaluations.

What Are the Penalties Associated With A Felony DUI?

The penalties associated with a felony DUI are substantial. They may include probation and local county jail time up to one year, or state prison up to three years or more depending on the allegations. If another person suffers “great bodily injury” there can also be an enhancement which adds 3 years state prison and make the DUI with injury a strike under the “3 strikes” law. There are also significant driver’s license suspensions, programs, fines up to $10,000, and restitution for any injuries or property damage. It is important to have an experienced DUI attorney who knows what needs to be done to get the best resolution possible.

Contact a Felony DUI Offense Lawyer Who Can Help

For a free lawyer consultation and realistic appraisal of your DUI with injury, call DUI defense attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph at 760-670-3885 or contact us online. We have been located across from Vista Courts for more than 40 years and have handled over 4,000 DUI cases for people just like you.

AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Defending Against DUI and Criminal Charges Throughout San Diego County

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