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DUI Causing Injury

If you were involved in an accident that caused injury while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be charged with a DUI Causing Injury (CVC 23153). Typically, this charge is a wobbleroffense, meaning that the prosecutor may elect to file it as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How you will be charged depends on a number of factors including:

-     The circumstances of the alleged offense.

-     Your criminal history, with particular attention being paid to past DUI convictions and other alcohol or drug related arrests and convictions.

Prosecution of the Crime

In order to be convicted of a DUI Causing Injury in California, the prosecutor must prove all of the following:

-      You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while in control of a motor vehicle.

-      You violated another law or acted in a negligent manner while driving the vehicle.

-      Your actions injured another person.

Note that under the influence of alcoholdenotes a 0.08% or higher BAC. The exception to this is if you are driving a commercial vehicle, the legal BAC limit is under 0.04%.


In California, penalties and sentencing for a DUI Causing Injury can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. In particular, the courts are interested in if you have any prior DUI conviction within the last ten years. This is considered a look back periodand if you have been convicted of a DUI within that time, punishments could be more severe.

Additionally, if this is your third DUI, your case will automatically be charged as a California felony DUI.

As mentioned previously, this charge may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. This greatly impacts the penalties related to a DUI Causing Injury conviction. Penalties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

DUI Causing Injury Misdemeanor Penalties

-      A fine from $350 to $5,000.

-      Summary Probation (informal or unsupervised) for between 3 and 5 years.

-      Payment of restitution to all injured parties.

-      License suspension of 1 to 3 years from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

-      5 days to 1 year in county jail.

-      A court-approved alcohol or drug education program for up to 30 months.

DUI Causing Injury Felony Penalties

-      A fine of between $1,015 and $5,000.

-      License revocation of 5 years from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

-      2, 3, or 4 years in California State Prison in addition to

-      3-to-6 years if the persons injured sustained great bodily injury as a result of the accident.

-      1-year for each additional person that suffered an injury with a maximum additional term of 3 years.

-      The title of Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) for a period of 3 years.

-      A strike on your record under the California Three Strikes Law.

Legal Defenses

An experienced attorney at San Diego DUI Attorney will examine all of the relevant information related to your case to establish an effective defense. Possible defense strategies in a DUI Causing Injury Case include, but are not limited to, the following:

-      You were not under the influence while operating a motor vehicle.

-      Your BAC was reported inaccurately.

-      There are inconsistencies and/or evidence of improper procedure relating to the arrest, police reports, and investigations.

-      The devices used to determine your BAC were not functioning properly or were not recently tested.

-      Proper procedures for collecting samples were not adhered to.

At San Diego DUI Attorney our lawyers will carefully examine all of the accident reports and even use a reconstruction expert if necessary. This expert may reenact the accident scene, detailing factors such as weather, road conditions, and the damage caused to each vehicle. Using this information, the reconstruction expert is able to evaluate whether or not the accident that caused the injuries was actually the fault of the client.

Contact our office today at 619-535-7150 for a FREE DUI consultation.

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