If someone is hurt in an accident related to your DUI you will face a tougher sentence and possible even a felony charge.
Only a fraction of DUI arrests involve an accident, but these are the DUIs taken most seriously by the law. If the accident involves an injury, you may be charged with a more serious offense than a regular DUI, and face tougher penalties if convicted. This is true if anyone (other than yourself) was injured, whether in your car or another car. It also includes injuries to pedestrians, cyclists, and others involved in the accident.
If your DUI involves an injury, you will likely be charged with CA Vehicle Code 23153, DUI Causing Injury. This offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony:
- If the injuries involved were relatively minor you will be charged with the misdemeanor version. This is essentially a sentence enhancement on a normal DUI. The charge is handled just like any other DUI charge except that you face a tougher sentences: minimum five days in jail, up to one year in jail maximum, and a one year license suspension.
- DUI with Injury is usually charged as a felony only if the injuries are severe. Broken bones count as serious injuries, as do any conditions that result in hospitalization, surgery, or any kind of disability. Your DUI could also be charged as a felony if it’s not the first time you’ve caused injuries through driving under the influence. If you are convicted of felony DUI causing injury, you will receive a minimum two years in prison.
Note that you face additional prison time for each person who suffered great bodily injuries. You may also be ordered to pay restitution.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your free consultation today.