In California, a DUI is almost always a misdemeanor. As with all law, there are exceptions to this rule. There are some cases where a DUI, even if it is a first DUI, can be charged as a felony. One of these cases is when the DUI involves serious injury or death to another person. Depending on the person’s criminal record and the circumstances surrounding the DUI accident, the intoxicated driver can find themselves facing a felony DUI causing injury charge. This usually occurs when the injuries involved are considered to be “serious.” As to what actually is considered a serious injury, a broken bone can be considered to be a serious injury.
San Benito.com reports on a man facing vehicular manslaughter charges after an alleged DUI accident.
30-year-old Travis White is charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.
The maximum penalty for the vehicular manslaughter charge is four years in prison. The maximum penalty for the felony DUI causing injury charge is six years.
The charges stem from a September 30th accident in which White turned a 2002 GMC Yukon in an unsafe manner, causing it to overturn.
Both White and his front seat passenger, identified only as a 20-year-old male from Hollister, were ejected from the vehicle. Neither were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.
While White only suffered from minor injuries in the crash, the passenger suffered from injuries that were fatal.
Officers who responded to the scene of the accident placed White under arrest for suspicion of DUI.
White remains in custody in Lieu of $130,000 bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the San Benito County Courthouse on October 23rd.