Nebraska Criminal & Trial Lawyers
Can a First-Time Offender Be Charged with Felony DUI?

Can a First-Time Offender Be Charged with Felony DUI?

In the state of Nebraska, individuals with at least three DUI convictions in the past 22 years are charged with felony DUI for any following convictions. Previous convictions are a condition for automatic DUI charges, but other parameters can qualify a crime as a felony DUI, even if the offender has no previous DUI convictions.

A recent case reported by the Omaha World-Herald demonstrates an incident of a first-time offender who could potentially face felony DUI charges. A 31-year-old man was arrested on March 9th for driving 102 miles per hour with a 5-year-old passenger and a blood alcohol level of .218. When a trooper attempted to stop the driver, he continued driving and fled the police at over 80 miles per hour. He continued to resist arrest after stopping at a home and getting out of the car.

Omaha Police arrested the man for driving under the influence, felony flight to avoid arrest, resisting arrest, obstruction of a peace officer, reckless driving, driving with a child while intoxicated, driving with an open alcohol container in the vehicle, and driving over 36 miles per hour over the speed limit.

The severity of this event, when considering the speed of the vehicle and endangerment of a child, in addition to the resistance of arrest, makes the incident a potential felony DUI offense. When evaluating this crime, it is important to consider the man’s previous criminal record. He has no prior DUI convictions.

In general, felony DUI charges are issued to individuals with multiple prior arrests. Other parameters that can affect the classification of a DUI charge as a misdemeanor or a felony include the causation of bodily harm to others, other crimes in conjunction with driving under the influence, and the presence of children in the vehicle while the driver was intoxicated.

Although this case is still developing, the multiple crimes involved and the involvement of a 5-year-old passenger make very likely the defendant will be charged with felony DUI, despite his status as a first-time offender.

Experienced DUI Defense

Any DUI conviction can seriously affect the remainder of your life. Driving under the influence can result in jail time, license suspension, financial consequences, and can impair your driving rights or ability to find employment for many years.

Our Omaha felony DUI lawyers are dedicated to defending your freedom following a charge for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Contact us today for a free consultation — we can be reached at (402) 614-8655 or through our online message form.


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