Fresno DUI with Injuries
DUI with Injuries in California
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23153, a DUI driver who causes an
accident where another person is injured can be charged with “DUI
with injury.” The penalties for a DUI conviction that causes injury
include imprisonment and other standard DUI penalties such as fines.
California Vehicle Code Section 23153 defines the offense:
“It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any
alcoholic beverage or drug, or the combined influence of any alcoholic
beverage or drug [or with a BAC of .08 or higher], to drive a vehicle
and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed
by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes
bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”
Merely being under the influence and having an accident where someone is
injured does not necessarily make you guilty of this offense. For example,
you may be intoxicated, yet driving appropriately, while another party
causes the collision. You may still be guilty of simple DUI, but not the
more serious offense of “DUI with injury.”
The charge of “DUI with injury” requires that you either (a)
violate a traffic law or (b) act with civil negligence, this violation
or negligence being the cause of the accident. For example, speeding,
tailgating or failing to stop at a red light, failure to maintain your
lane, if one of these violations causes the accident and the injuries,
would put an intoxicated driver in violation of Section 23153.
The Penalties are Serious
The charge of DUI with injury carries much more serious consequences than
a simple DUI. If the prosecutor charges it as a misdemeanor, the defendant
faces up to a year in jail plus the other standard DUI penalties. If the
prosecutor charges it as felony DUI, the defendant faces 2, 3 or 4 years
state prison (plus an additional year for each additional person who is injured).
Worse still, if any of the injured parties is seriously hurt, the DUI defendant
may be charged with a “great bodily injury” enhancement (GBI).
This can add up to three additional years of state prison. Moreover, the
“great bodily injury” enhancement makes the DUI offense a
“strike” under California's Three Strikes law.
Immediate Hiring of a DUI Lawyer is Absolutely Necessary
If you or a loved one has been charged with “DUI with injury,”
contact an experienced Fresno DUI defense attorney immediately. It is
critical in these cases that a defense investigation begins as soon after
the accident as possible. Typically, investigators and experts need to
interview witnesses and to conduct an independent toxicology and accident
The CHP or police officers investigating the accident will typically try
to shift blame to the party who has been drinking. Their DUI accident
reports will be biased and will omit details that are favorable to the
DUI suspect's case. Never take these reports at face value. The DUI
defense lawyer must conduct an independent investigation, as early in
the process as possible.
The attorneys at Wapner Jones P.C. are very experienced at defending against
a DUI with injury. Please contact us as soon as possible after the incident.
Oftentimes, immediately investigating will provide good results to be
used to defend you in court.