You decided to drive home after attending a concert at the Santa Ana Observatory. Despite consuming several drinks, you believed that you were under the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers when you left the venue. On your way home, you ran a red light and crashed into another driver. Now, you are being charged with a DUI causing injury under California Vehicle Code 23153. California DUI causing injury penalties can be very severe and it is important you have an experienced DUI defense attorney who knows the law to help you if you are being charged with the crime.
DUI Laws in California
In California, the prosecutor must prove the following elements in order to convict you of a DUI causing injury under CVC 23153(a) or (b):
- You drove a vehicle;
- You were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, drug, or a combination of both;
- You committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty while driving; AND
- Your illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty while driving caused serious bodily injury to another person.
It is important to note that your illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty does not have to be the only cause of another’s injury. In fact, there may be several causes of another person’s injury. However, your illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty will be considered a “cause” if it was a substantial factor that contributed to another’s injury.
California DUI Causing Injury Penalties – California Vehicle Code 23153
A first conviction for a DUI causing injury is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that the prosecutor has discretion to charge the DUI causing injury as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of your case and your prior criminal history.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI causing injury, you will face up to one year in county jail and up to $1,000 in court fines. Your driving privilege may be suspended for up to one year.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI causing injury, you will face up to three years in county jail and up to $5,000 in court fines. Your driving privilege may be suspended for up to three years.
Alternatively, a court may sentence you to a probation term of up to five years. During this time, you will not be allowed to drive a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your blood. You will also be required to submit to a chemical test if detained for a violation of VC 23152 or 23153. Further, the terms of your probation will require you to not commit any criminal offenses during your probationary period.
If your BAC was under 0.20, you will likely be required to complete a drunk drivers program for at least 30 hours over a period of three months. If your BAC was 0.20 or higher, you will likely be required to complete a drunk drivers program for at least 60 hours over a period of nine months.
Call the Experienced Southern California DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
The law offices of Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of a DUI causing injury. When you retain a Wallin & Klarich attorney, you can expect to be informed of all developments in your case the moment they occur. We will guide you through the entire criminal process until its successful conclusion.
Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks. Please call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 to discuss the merits of your case. We will get through this together.