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Sentencing And Punishment For DUI Causing Injury In Southern California – VC 23153

Penalties Associated With A DUI Causing Injury Conviction

The sentencing guidelines for a DUI causing injury conviction in California are harsh and life altering. In the following, our DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich discuss the sentencing and punishment for DUI causing injury convictions in California. If you or are facing charges for a DUI with injury in Southern California, you need to speak to one of our professional lawyers at Wallin & Klarich, who have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients charged with DUI causing injury. We can provide you with the guidance you need during this difficult time.

Punishment for DUI Causing Injury: First Conviction Per VC 23554[i]

The punishment for DUI Causing Injury will depend on whether the offense was charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
A first DUI causing injury offense is considered a “wobbler.”

The prosecutor has the power to charge a first DUI causing injury as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. Often referred to as a “wobbler,” this law grants significant prosecutorial discretion and permits the district attorney to choose between less severe (misdemeanor) and severe (felony) prosecutions.

A misdemeanor charge may result in imprisonment in county jail for a period of 90 days to 364 days and a fine from $390 to $2,000. In addition, your driving privileges will suspended for a 1- year period. A felony charge may result in imprisonment in county for a term of up to 3 years. Due to the significant discretion the prosecutor enjoys, you should consult with an experienced DUI attorney at the earliest possible stage of your case to most effectively impact the prosecutor’s decision-making process. The DUI lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can help you as soon as you are arrested. If the court grants probation, the terms may include:

  1. A probation term of 3-5 years;
  2. A requirement that you shall not drive a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood;
  3. A requirement that you, if arrested for a violation of VC 23152 or 23153, shall not refuse to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of your blood;
  4. A requirement that you shall not commit any criminal offense;
  5. Carry valid government issued identification at all times;
  6. Do not own, use or possess any type of dangerous weapon or deadly weapon; OR
  7. Use true name and date of birth at all times.

If you are placed on probation for a felony DUI causing injury, you will likely have a probation officer assigned to your case. You will have to report to your probation officer on a regular basis. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI causing injury, you will likely be placed on summary probation and will not be monitored by a probation officer. If you are placed on probation, you may still face up to 1 year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The court will suspend your driving privileges for 1 year and will require you to successfully complete a driving-under-the-influence program, alcohol awareness program, and a counseling program. Depending on your BAC, you will be required to complete a specific licensed program consisting of alcohol education, group counseling, and individual interview sessions. A BAC of 0.20% or higher will require your participation in a program consisting of a minimum of 30 hours over a period of 3 months or longer. A BAC of 0.20% or greater will require your participation in a program consisting of a minimum of 60 hours over a period of 9 months or longer.

Punishment for DUI Causing Injury: Second Conviction Per VC 23153[ii]

Punishment for Second DUI Causing injury in California.
If you are convicted of a second DUI causing injury offense, you may lose your driving license for up to 3 years.

If you are convicted of a second offense under VC 23153 and the offense occurred within 10 years of a separate DUI or reckless driving offense that resulted in a conviction, the penalties will increase significantly. A misdemeanor charge may result in imprisonment in county jail for a period of 120 days to 1 year and a fine valued between $390 and $5,000. In addition, your driving privileges will be suspended for a 3- year period. A felony charge may result in imprisonment in county jail for up to 3 years. If the court grants probation, you will be subject to: 1.   Confinement in county jail for at least 120 days and a fine ranging from $390 to $5,000. Your driving privileges shall be revoked by the DMV for a period of 3 years; or 2.   All the following: Be confined in county jail for 30 days to 1 year; Pay a fine valued between $390 and $2,000. Your driving privilege shall be revoked by the DMV pursuant to VC 13552(a)(4); and you must either (a) Enroll and participate, for at least 18 months, in a driving-under-the-influence program; or (b) Enroll and participate, for at least 30 months, in a driving-under-the-influence program.

Punishment For DUI Causing Injury: Third Conviction Per VC 23153

If you are convicted of a third or subsequent offense under VC 23153 and the offense occurred within 10 years of two previous DUI or reckless driving convictions, the penalties will increase. You shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail for up to 4 years and by a fine ranging from $1,015 to $5,000. In addition, your driving privilege shall be revoked for a period of 5 years. If you are punished under VC 23153, you will be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of 3 years, subsequent to the conviction. The habitual traffic offender designation will increase the penalties for certain driving offenses that are committed after the designation.

Enhanced Penalty For Causing Injury Upon Multiple Victims

If you caused bodily injury to more than one victim as a result of a DUI causing injury under VC 23153, you shall, upon a felony conviction, receive an increased sentence of 1 year in county jail for each additional injured victim. The maximum number of three 1-year enhancements may be imposed pursuant to this section. Although you may be subject to increased penalties, you will face one DUI charge if multiple victims were involved in a single accident. If you caused the death of another person while driving under the influence, you may be prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter or Watson murder.

Let Wallin & Klarich Make The Difference In Your Case

The sentencing and punishment associated with a DUI causing injury conviction are serious. If you are facing potential charges, please contact the team of experienced and reliable DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich: (877) 466-5245 or submit the intake form at the top of this page.


[i]California Vehicle Code Section 23554
[ii]California Vehicle Code Section 23153

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