California prosecutors can charge a DUI as either a felony or a misdemeanor. While a great many DUIs are misdemeanors, the charge can become a felony, which is more serious. If someone is injured or killed in a DUI accident, the DUI can be charged as a felony. If a person has been charged and convicted of three previous DUIs within a ten-year period, the fourth DUI can be charged as a felony. If a person has a prior felony DUI conviction, each DUI charge after that conviction will be charged as a felony.
The San Francisco Gate reports on a man facing felony DUI charges for his role in an accident that claimed one life and injured others.
In an accident that occurred on May 5th in Pescadero, California, one man was injured and his passenger killed.
21-year-old Paulino Najera was driving a 1998 Ford Contour northbound on Highway 1. Najera crossed into the southbound lanes and collided head-on with a 2008 Toyota 4-Runner.
A passenger in the Contour, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene. Najera himself suffered major injuries in the crash and was airlifted to Stanford University Medical Center.
A woman who was driving the Toyota at the time of the crash also suffered from major injuries. She had to be airlifted to the Medical Center due to her injuries as well. She was identified as Jasmine Fernandez.
Authorities believe that Najera was driving under the influence at the time of the accident. He is facing felony DUI and other charges.