A DUI in California is normally charged as a misdemeanor, particularly for first-time offenders. There are situations, however, when even a first time DUI can be charged as a felony. One instance where it can be charged as a felony is if it involved an accident that caused injury or death to another. Another is if a person has prior DUIs, where the chances are higher, particularly if they have three or more previous DUI convictions. If a person already has a previous felony DUI conviction, a subsequent DUI may also be charged as a felony.
Fox 40 reports on a man facing felony DUI charges after a deadly accident.
The accident took place just before 9 p.m. on Saturday near the intersection of Franklin Boulevard and Idaho Drive. A witness named Jacob Phonesavanh stopped to help.
He saw three victims in the Cadillac, two adults with one child. One of the adults, the father, was unconscious and trapped behind the wheel. Emergency responders arrived and pronounced 44-year-old Wilber Sermeno of Elk Grove dead at the scene. His wife and child only suffered from minor injuries.
The driver of the Toyota that collided with Sermeno was determined to have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the collision. The driver was identified as 35-year-old Allen Vang, who was charged with felony driving under the influence.