California, like many states, has “enhancements” that can be added to certain charges, making the penalties more severe. When it comes to a DUI charge, there are several enhancements that can be added. Excessive speed and excessive blood alcohol content are two examples of enhancements. Another example can be added to the charge of DUI causing injury. If the injury results in a person being paralyzed or with a severe brain injury, there is an enhancement known as a “special allegation of great bodily injury resulting in brain injury or paralysis.” This is an enhancement that can qualify a DUI to be charged as a felony, along with the sentence enhancements.
The Recorder Online reports that a man has pleaded no contest to DUI charges in a wreck that resulted in the victim’s legs being amputated.
On Tuesday, July 30th, 22-year-old Mohamed Mohamed appeared in court to enter a plea of no contest to all five charges that had been levied against him. The charges include two felony counts of felony DUI while causing great bodily injury that resulted in brain injury or paralysis, mayhem, hit and run causing injury, and driving on a suspended license.
The charges stem from an accident that occurred in April where Mohamed hit 37-year-old Geronimo Gonzales as he worked on his car outside his house. Mohamed then left the scene, went to his home to shower and clean up, and then returned to the scene to claim he was not involved in the accident.
As a result of the accident, Gonzales now requires 24/7 care due to the amputation of both legs and the traumatic brain injury he suffered. After the accident, he was unconscious for six weeks.
Gonzales’ family members delivered victim impact statements before the judge and new evidence was presented, which convinced Mohamed to change his plea from not guilty to no contest.
Deputy District Attorney Brittany Knotts is pushing for the maximum sentence of nine years given the severity of Gonzales’ injuries. However, there is a capped maximum sentence of seven years.