While any California DUI offense can have a serious impact on a person’s life, those DUI cases that involve an accident with injury are especially serious. Anyone facing such a violation must make sure to understand what they are facing, to better defend against the allegations. California Vehicle Code section 23153 provides that it is illegal to drive a car while engaging in any other type of conduct that is forbidden by law. This includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
After a California DUI accident, the prosecution will likely charge several offenses. Aside from a traditional DUI, a motorist may also face charges under section 23153. To prove a violation of section 23153, the prosecution must show:
- The driver violated the state’s DUI laws;
- While under the influence, you also violated another traffic law, or otherwise acted in a negligent manner; and
- The driver’s actions resulted in another’s injury.
To find someone in violation of the California DUI laws, the prosecution must establish that a driver:
- Had a blood-alcohol (BAC) content of .08 or more;
- Was otherwise under the influence of alcohol (even with a BAC of less than .08);
- Was under the influence of drugs; or
- Was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
A California DUI causing injury offense can be graded as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the person charged with the crime has prior convictions for DUI or DUI causing injury.
For example, a misdemeanor DUI causing injury offense can result in the following punishments and penalties:
- Probation for up to five years;
- Up to one year in county jail;
- Fines of up to $5,000;
- A mandatory drug or alcohol education course;
- Up to a three-year license suspension;
- Restitution for any damages.
Notably, someone convicted of a misdemeanor DUI causing injury offense may be able to restore their driving privileges with the installation of an ignition interlock device.
A felony conviction for DUI causing injury is much more serious. The maximum penalties include:
- Up to four years in California state prison;
- An additional consecutive term of imprisonment, if anyone suffered “great bodily injury”;
- An additional consecutive term of imprisonment for each additional person who suffered any injury;
- Up to $5,000 in fines;
- A mandatory drug or alcohol education course; and
- A five-year revocation of driving privileges.
If you face charges pertaining to a DUI accident causing injury, you must take the allegations seriously, as a conviction can have a lasting impact on your life.
Have You Been Arrested for a California DUI Offense?
If you were recently arrested after a California DUI accident, you may be facing a DUI causing injury offense under section 23153. These crimes are taken very seriously by prosecutors, and you should find an attorney who will take your case just as seriously. At the Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman, we provide exceptional representation to clients facing a wide range of DUI charges, including cases involving accidents with serious injuries. Attorney Hartman only practices DUI cases, giving her unrivaled experience in these complex and high-stakes cases. To learn more, call 619-260-1222 to schedule a free consultation today.