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What Makes a DUI a Felony?

Anytime you're cited for driving under the influence, you face potentially stiff criminal penalties as well as restrictions on your ability to drive.

A DUI offense is generally a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine and potentially imprisonment in county jail for up to one year -- but typically less. However, under some circumstances, a DUI may be charged as a felony, punishable in some cases by lengthy prison sentences.

What can potentially make a DUI a felony?

Even in the age of constant communication and GPS, tens of thousands of people go missing in the United States every year.

According to FBI statistics, in 2013 there were more than 627,000 missing persons reports entered into the National Crime Information Center's Missing Person File. This database contains records for those who are missing under circumstances indicating they may be in danger, are under the age of 21, have a missing disability, or fall under other criteria which may place them at risk. Of these, more than 84,000 remained active at the end of 2013, with juveniles accounting for more than 40% of those still missing.

What should you do in the unfortunate event that one of your family members goes missing?

Society may not be on the brink of destruction after all. At least not according to a recent crime report by the FBI, which shows that property crime and violent crime are generally on the decline.

According to an FBI press release, violent crimes in the United States decreased 4.4 percent between 2012 and 2013 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), while property crimes decreased 4.1 percent. Also uplifting news: Property crimes have been steadily on the decline for the last 11 years.

What was the good (and possibly bad) news delivered by this new FBI data?

The New York City Police Department has announced that it will no longer arrest those carrying 25 grams or less of marijuana.

Instead, NYPD officers will issue begin issuing summonses to those in possession of small amounts of marijuana, reports Gothamist. The summonses, similar to those issued for speeding tickets or relatively minor offenses, will not appear on a person's criminal record.

What else do you need to know about the NYPD's new marijuana possession enforcement policy? Here are five facts:

United States Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced that he was stepping down as soon as a successor could be found.

That successor has now apparently been found: It was announced over the weekend that U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch would be President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general. If confirmed, Lynch would be the second African American to hold the post of attorney general, following Holder, who was the first.

What else should you know about Loretta Lynch? Here are five things:

A recent Gallup poll finds that about one in four American households includes someone who's been victimized by crime -- a figure that's remained fairly constant over the past decade.

According to a Gallup study from 2000 to 2014, between 22 and 27 percent of households have reported being victimized by crime over the last 14 years. Victimization on the individual level has been slightly less reported, with between 14 and 19 percent of Americans claiming to be individual victims of crime.

What do these numbers mean for the average American, and which crimes are the most common?

Eating evidence is never a good idea. It has a very low success rate in actually thwarting a police investigation, and it can significantly increase a suspect's exposure to criminal charges.

It may be funny to see characters like those in the cult classic "Super Troopers" eat massive quantities of illicit substances in a frantic attempt to not get busted, but the reality is even uglier.

What are some real-life consequences of eating evidence?

With fingerprint-reading technology now being implemented in more and more smartphones, rulings like the one last week really get under people's skin.

Last Tuesday, a Virginia judge ruled that police officers can force a suspect to unlock a smartphone using that phone's fingerprint scanner, reports The Wall Street Journal. This ruling has many privacy advocates worried that fingerprint and biometric tech on cell phones will become a loophole for police abuse.

Before you chuck your new phone in the trash, check out our five level-headed takeaways from this ruling:

When a police officer asks to search your cell phone, it may be difficult to know if you can legally refuse.

The situations may vary, but in general, arrestees do not have to let the police search their cell phones, even if cops demand it. As one retired California judge told San Francisco's KPIX-TV, officers can only look at a suspect's cell phone with consent, in an emergency, or with a search warrant.

Before you let a cop search your cell phone, consider this:

The California Highway Patrol is being investigated for an alleged "game" in which officers shared nude photos of women stolen from suspects' cell phones.

In a search warrant affidavit, CHP Officers Sean Harrington and Robert Hazelwood are accused of snagging near-naked selfies from arrestees' phones and then trading them like baseball cards. The Contra Costa Times reports that Harrington confessed to stealing explicit photos from a DUI suspect's phone as part of a sophomoric "game" between other officers.

If true, what charges could these allegedly pervy CHP officers face?