DUI causing injury in California is one of those “wobbler” charges. Simply put, DUI causing injury is a charge that can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. Many things can factor into the prosecution’s decision on which way to charge the offense. Many times, the seriousness of the injuries is a major factor in whether or not it is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If there were only minor injuries, it may be charged as a felony. However, serious injuries, which include broken bones, can cause DUI causing injury to be charged as a felony.
Berkeleyside reports that a man has been sentenced after pleading no contest to two felony counts of DUI causing injury.
27-year-old Esteban Slavitt has been sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation. The sentence comes after Slavitt pleaded no contest to two felony charges of DUI causing injury back in May.
The charges stemmed from a June 18, 2018 accident in which Salvitt, who had been driving a Toyota Prius and struck then 21-year-old Vicky Buenrostro, a Berkeley student who had been out for a jog at the time. In the accident, Buenrostro sustained traumatic brain injuries that caused her to require several brain surgeries. She also needed to relearn how to read and write.
The night of the accident, police reported that Slavitt displayed several signs of intoxication. He also did poorly on field sobriety tests. Blood and breath tests also revealed that Slavitt was intoxicated.
Slavitt was facing a possibility of six years in jail. After assessing the case and Slavitt’s background, the judge felt that the minimum sentence would better serve justice.