DUI with Injury Charges in San Diego

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When a person is arrested for DUI, that is, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is generally considered a misdemeanor offense. However, if the individual who was alleged to be driving under the influence caused an accident that resulted in bodily injury or harm to the other people involved, the misdemeanor charges will likely be increased to a felony DUI, and the defendant can be facing up to six years in state prison.

California Vehicle Code §23153(a) discusses DUI causing injury charges. For the jury to find someone guilty of DUI with injury, it must establish that the defendant was driving a vehicle under the influence of a drug or alcoholic beverage and that the defendant failed to provide a legal duty of care, causing injury to another person. Questions that the jury might ask and examine, include:

  • Was the person under the influence of alcohol or a drug?
  • Was the defendant definitely driving?
  • Did the defendant cause the victim's injuries?
  • Were the victim's injuries significant?

In order to be convicted of DUI with injury, the jury must establish that "the defendant failed to perform the following legal duty/duties while driving the vehicle/operating the vessel: the duty to exercise ordinary care at all times and to maintain proper control of the vehicle/vessel."

Have you been accused of DUI in San Diego? You have options! Before speaking with police, call Mark R. De Yoe, APLC. With over 32 years of experience, you know you have a strong legal advocate by your side. Call to get started with a free initial case consultation.

Penalties for DUI with Injury in California

Being convicted of a DUI with injury means that the prosecution must have enough evidence to prove three things: that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you were involved in an accident, that you somehow broke the law or acted negligently while driving, and it is the direct result of this negligent act that resulted in the other person’s injury. DUI with injury is a "wobbler" under California law, which means that you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances surrounding your charge and your criminal history.

Working with an experienced DUI attorney in San Diego can help you minimize or eliminate the charges that have been leveled against you. Since all three components must be proven, casting doubt on even one may be enough to reduce the DUI with injury charge you are facing.

If you have been charged with misdemeanor DUI with injury, you could face:

An extended jail sentence may be the worst part of a DUI with injury conviction, but it is not the only part. The DUI penalties that go along with a DUI conviction will be enhanced if you are convicted of a felony DUI. This can mean years of parole and probation after being released from jail, astronomical monetary fines as well as being forced to pay restitution to the victims, driver's license suspension for an extended period of time, alcohol counseling, an ignition interlock device on your car, and more.

If you have been charged with felony DUI with injury, you could face:

  • Up to 13 years in prison
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Habitual Traffic Offender status
  • Strike on your record under the Three Strike’s Law
  • DUI school
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

The penalties for a DUI with injury are not to be taken lightly, and the help of an attorney is required if you want to beat your charges.

Defenses That Can Be Used On Your Behalf

Unless the entire jury agrees that the defendant committed an illegal act or that the defendant shirked the duty he should have performed, the defendant will still be considered innocent. Defenses that could be used on your behalf include the following:

  • Your BAC was below 0.08%
  • Your breath sample was tainted
  • The DUI breath testing instrument was ill-maintained or not properly calibrated
  • Your blood test was improperly collected or stored
  • Your blood test was passed outside of the proper chain of custody

In order to be charged with a "felony causing injury" DUI offense, normally the victim's injuries have to be at least somewhat severe. Probation is not an option for individuals convicted of felony DUI causing injury.

Let Our San Diego DUI Defense Attorney Fight for You!

DUI defense lawyer Mark R. De Yoe understands the law and the science in DUI cases, including those involving injuries. He handles each case with compassion, and will help you and your family through this difficult time. With 28 years of experience handling DUI cases, and having taken on over 1,000 cases to date, he has the knowledge and experience you are looking for when you need a lawyer to fight for your freedom.

Still wondering if you should retain the legal services of Attorney Mark R. De Yoe, APLC? Check out some case results negotiated by our firm.