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Is a Drug DUI a wobbler offense

California Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC is the statute that criminalizes driving under the influence of drugs. A drug DUI or “DUID” can result from driving under the influence of any kind of drug that can impair one’s ability to concentrate and make safe decisions on the road. Read on to find out about how DUIDs are charged under California law as well as what constitutes a DUID. If, after reading this article, you continue to have questions regarding 23152(f) VC, please consider contacting us.

How are drug DUIDs charged? 

While for the most part first-time DUIs and drug DUI offenses are categorized as misdemeanors, there are some factors that could escalate the offense to a felony. One reason that driving under the influence of substances could result in a felony is if someone was injured as a result of the driver having a substance in their system at the time of the accident. A DUI may also be charged as a felony if the driver has received:

  • A prior felony DUI charged
  • At least three DUI charges in the past

Another factor that may be considered when deciding whether to charge the defendant with a misdemeanor or felony is if he/she is likely to rehabilitate if given drug treatment. Though first time offenders often will not be charged with a felony, it really depends on the specific circumstances that factor into the individual situation.

How are felony DUIs charged differently from misdemeanor DUIs?

First-offense DUIDs and DUIs are punished the same way. On your first DUI offense, typically the following punishments are issued:

  • Fines of at least $390, which may be substantially more after taking in factors such as penalties and assessments.
  • DUI probation ranging from 3 to 5 years
  • A DUI class
  • Six-month long suspension of one’s driver’s license
  • As much as six-months in county jail

If, however, you are charged with a felony, penalties may be more severe. These penalties include:

  • Fines ranging from $1,000-$5,000
  • Loss of one’s driver’s license for a year
  • A jail or prison sentence of as much as 4 years.


This article has described the difference in how drug DUIs may be charged depending on if the crime is categorized as a misdemeanor or felony. If you would like more information on how you can be defended against such charges, please contact us so we may discuss how you can be defended.

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.

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