While being charged with a
DUI is stressful enough, being convicted of a DUI which resulted in an
injury to another person (including your own passengers) can be devastating.
California courts take DUI that involve accidents very seriously, leading
to harsher penalties. However, you must understand what the prosecution
can go after depends on the severity of the accident.
If your DUI caused an accident which resulted in minor injuries, it becomes
a misdemeanor DUI causing injury, which is associated with sentence enhancements,
meaning longer jail time, longer license suspension, higher fines and
court fees, as well as possible impoundment of your vehicle. On top of
normal DUI penalties, a misdemeanor DUI causing injury carries a minimum
jail sentence of five days and a minimum license suspension of one year.
If your DUI caused an accident which resulted in serious injury, such as
a concussion, a broken bone, or another injury which requires surgery
and takes a considerable amount of time to completely heal, you will most
likely be charged with a felony DUI causing injury, which is substantial
more serious than a misdemeanor charge. A felony DUI causing injury charge
includes a prison sentence between one to five years and a fine over $1,000.
Additional years may be added for each individual injured or if anyone
sustained a “great bodily injury,” such as a spinal cord injury
or a traumatic brain injury.
Despite the seriousness of these penalties, they only apply if you are
found guilty of the crime. The prosecution must prove (1) that you were
under the influence of alcohol with a BAC level of 0.08% or more and (2)
that you directly caused the accident, as well as the injury.
It’s important to understand that if the prosecution is unable to
prove both of these circumstances, you cannot be convicted of a DUI causing
injury in California. It’s imperative to have an experienced and
skilled DUI lawyer on your side who can investigate your case and gather
the evidence necessary to prove that you weren’t at fault for the
accident or the injuries resulting from it.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers and
schedule your free consultation today.