A DUI charge is serious. It can be an overwhelming and stressful situation for anyone. However, when that DUI charge is paired with an injury charge, it can result in life-altering consequences if not defended aggressively.
What is a California DUI causing injury?
According to California Vehicle Code 23153, a California DUI with injury is defined as driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to anyone other than yourself as a result.
If you have been charged with a DUI causing injury, we recommend that you speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Misdemeanor vs. felony DUI in California
A DUI with injury is considered a wobbler offense. This means that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. This depends on the circumstances surrounding the case, including past DUI convictions.
The offense could be charged as a felony if the following factors exist:
- Prior felony DUI conviction for an offense within the past 10 years;
- Three prior DUI convictions for offenses within the past 10 years;
- Causing serious bodily injury to anyone other than the driver.
Potential penalties of DUI causing injury in California
Penalties for a California DUI with injury vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. A misdemeanor could result in the following penalties:
- Five days to one year in the county jail;
- One to three years of license suspension;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID);
- DUI program;
- Compensation to victim(s).
If convicted of a felony DUI causing injury, a defendant could face the following penalties:
- 16 months to three years in state prison;
- Three to six years in state prison for any victim who suffered a severe injury;
- An additional year in state prison per each victim who suffered an injury;
- Three years as a habitual traffic offender (HTO);
- DUI program;
- Five years of license revocation;
- Alcohol or substance abuse treatment.
How an experienced DUI lawyer can help you
There are many nuances to California's DUI causing injury law. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under California law.