Los Angeles DUI Causing Injury

Los Angeles DUI Causing Injury

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in California, but it becomes even more severe when the intoxicated driving results in injury to another person. Los Angeles prosecutors take DUI causing injury cases very seriously and will pursue harsh penalties against drivers charged with this crime.

What Constitutes DUI Causing Injury?

California Vehicle Code Section 23153 makes it illegal for a person to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and concurrently commit an unlawful act, like running a red light or stop sign, that results in bodily injury to someone else. The key elements of DUI causing injury are:

  • The defendant was driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs, with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
  • The defendant committed some unlawful act or acted negligently while driving. This could be speeding, illegal turning, failure to yield, etc.
  • The defendant’s unlawful or negligent action caused bodily injury to someone else.

Simply being impaired while driving is not enough – the driver’s intoxication must directly lead to the accident and injury for DUI causing injury charges.

Penalties for DUI Causing Injury

DUI causing injury is a “wobbler offense” under California law, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, at the prosecutor’s discretion. This depends on factors like prior DUI history and the severity of injuries.

Misdemeanor Penalties

If charged as a misdemeanor, DUI causing injury convictions can result in:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Informal probation up to 5 years
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • DUI education program
  • Victim restitution

Felony Penalties

Felony DUI causing injury can result in:

  • 16 months – 4 years in state prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Formal probation up to 5 years
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • DUI education program
  • Victim restitution
  • A “strike” on your record under California’s Three Strikes law

Penalties increase if multiple victims are injured. Additional enhancements like great bodily injury can add 3-5 years to a prison sentence.

Common Defenses Against DUI Causing Injury

There are several legal defenses that an experienced DUI lawyer can raise to fight DUI causing injury charges, such as:

  • No unlawful act – Argue there was no traffic violation or unlawful conduct that caused the accident.
  • Not the cause – Argue that something else, not the defendant’s actions, caused the accident and injuries.
  • No negligence – Argue the defendant exercised reasonable care and was not negligent.
  • No impairment – Challenge the evidence and tests showing driver impairment.
  • No injuries occurred – Argue the alleged victim was not actually injured.

An attorney may also challenge the validity of breathalyzer or blood tests, conduct of the police, or sufficiency of evidence against you.

Finding an Experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer

DUI causing injury charges must be taken very seriously, as convictions can destroy lives and futures. Having an aggressive lawyer fight for you can mean the difference between felony charges, jail time, and life-long impacts – versus avoiding charges or reducing to misdemeanors.

When choosing a DUI lawyer, it’s important to find someone experienced specifically in DUI defense, not just any criminal lawyer. Look for attorneys with proven track records of positive case results. Be sure they have expertise challenging blood tests and negotiating with LA prosecutors.

The lawyer should thoroughly examine the evidence against you, conduct independent investigations, and build the strongest defense to have charges reduced or dismissed where possible.

Don’t leave your fate to chance – consult an experienced DUI lawyer immediately.

What to Do If You’re Charged with DUI Causing Injury

If you’ve been arrested for DUI causing injury, here are important steps to take:

  • Remain silent – Do not admit guilt or make statements to police. You have the right to remain silent.
  • Hire an attorney – Retain an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible to start your defense.
  • Get your side documented – Work with your lawyer to gather evidence, take photos, interview witnesses to challenge the charges.
  • Seek character references – Ask people to write letters vouching for your good character to help mitigate penalties.
  • Consider rehab – Entering alcohol counseling or treatment programs can show remorse and responsibility.

With the right legal strategy and defense, it may be possible to avoid the worst penalties of a DUI causing injury conviction in Los Angeles. Don’t wait to act – call a lawyer today.

Conclusion

DUI causing injury allegations must be taken very seriously in Los Angeles. Skilled legal representation is crucial to avoid devastating consequences to your future. An experienced DUI lawyer can thoroughly examine the evidence against you, build an aggressive defense, negotiate with prosecutors, and challenge charges in court. They may be able to reduce charges to misdemeanors or avoid convictions altogether. Don’t leave the outcome to chance – call an attorney as soon as possible after any DUI arrest involving injuries.