Like many states, a DUI in California is normally just a misdemeanor. However, depending on the circumstances, a prosecutor can make a case for a DUI being a felony charge. If there are serious injuries or death, a DUI can quickly become a felony charge. If a driver has previous DUI convictions, they may find themselves facing felony DUI charges for subsequent DUIs. In the case of previous felony DUI convictions, many drivers will see themselves facing felony charges for subsequent DUIs. These regulations are seen as a deterrent, hoping to prevent repeat DUIs from occurring.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports on a driver facing felony DUI charges after a hit-and-run that seriously injured a skateboarding woman.
27-year-old Kelly Cass is facing a slow recovery after being hit by an allegedly drunk driver while she was skateboarding.
According to her family, Cass is facing weeks in intensive care and after that, months in rehabilitation. Last Thursday, many of the muscles in Cass’ right leg needed to be removed due to blood loss and the risk of infection. Before that, doctors told Cass’ family that she may lose both legs.
The accident occurred when Angel Diego Huerta, 27, hit Cass at Auburn Boulevard at Charwood Lane. Police initially received a call regarding the collision at 5:40 p.m. When they arrived at the location, they found a skateboard and shoes, but no victim.
Huerta had allegedly driven with Cass in the front seat of the car for an additional three miles. Police found Cass inside the sedan and determined that she was the skateboarder.
Police found Huerta nearby with injuries consistent with having been in a collision. Officers suspect that Huerta abandoned both Cass and the vehicle and fled on foot.
At the time of the December 27th accident, Huerta was on parole for a robbery and a 2012 DUI conviction. The previous DUI conviction involved Huerta crashing into a car as he traveled at 65 m.p.h.
Huerta was arrested and charged with felony DUI hit-and-run as well as charges related to driving on a suspended license. He is being held on $1 million bail.