What Happens If I Had An Accident Involving DUI?

If you have been involved in an accident and arrested for DUI in violation of California Vehicle Code 23153 you could face serious charges, particularly if anyone was injured or killed in the accident. If convicted, you could be charged with a felony and sentenced up to 6 years imprisonment for injuring someone and up to 10 years in prison if a person loses their life in the accident. There have been cases where even further imprisonment was imposed when an individual lost their life due to a DUI involved accident. Your license would also be suspended for some time. It is crucial that you contact an experienced DUI lawyer if you have been arrested for a DUI and it involved an accident.

These types of cases require a very thorough investigation by a DUI defense lawyer that is well versed in both the criminal side of the DUI charge as well as the accident side of the investigation. An independent investigator may be retained to fully investigate the scene of the accident. Possibly you were not at fault in the accident despite the charges. Accidents occur in Southern California regularly. If someone had been drinking, they might be accused even though they were not at fault and their alcohol level was not above the legal limit.

Contact our California criminal defense lawyers at Cron, Israels & Stark to get competent advice regarding the direction the investigation surrounding your accident should take in order to obtain the most favorable results possible. Our legal team will investigate all aspects of your case with the goal in mind of reducing or eradicating the charges if at all possible.

California Vehicle Code 23153

The crime of “DUI causing injury” is described under California Vehicle Code 23153. If you drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs and then cause physical harm to another person, you could be convicted under this statute. It should be noted that driving under the influence under this law includes Vehicle Code 23152(a) driving under the influence; Vehicle Code 23152(b) driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08% or higher; or Vehicle Code 23152(f) driving under the influence of drugs, which includes prescription drugs. The case could be filed as a misdemeanor or felony.

In order to be convicted of DUI causing injury, the prosecutor has to prove the elements of the crime listed under CALCRIM Jury Instructions 2100:

  • You were driving a motor vehicle
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
  • You had a blood alcohol content or 0.08% of higher
  • While Driving under the influence, you committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty
  • Your act or negligence caused injury to another person

For commercial drivers, it only has to prove you were driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% or greater.

For first-time offenders or those who have one prior DUI conviction within the past 10 years, this offense will be charged as a misdemeanor crime carrying up to one year in county jail, a fine up to $5,000, victim restitution, and a 3 year suspension of driver’s license by the California DMV.

If convicted of a felony DUI with injury under Vehicle Code 23153, it will carry up to 4 years in a California state prison, a fine up to $5,000, another year extra per victim, another 3-6 years per victim who sustained great bodily injury (GBI), victim restitution, Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status, a strike under California three strikes law, and a 5 year revocation of your driver’s license.

DUI Accident Defense Attorney In Los Angeles

Being arrested for a DUI can be a life-altering event. Being involved in an accident and being charged with a DUI can be devastating, especially if injuries or death accompanied the accident. This is where there is no question that you need help from a skilled and experienced legal team that will aggressively build the best defense possible. Contact our office for personalized attention and a caring and dedicated legal staff.

If you have been arrested for a DUI involving an accident, contact Cron, Israels & Stark for a free initial consultation.