Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California Vehicle 23152 (a). When a driver who is under the influence causes an injury to someone other than himself or herself, the consequences can be life changing. If you are facing charges of DUI causing injury in Irvine, it is important to call a DUI defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately to help you with your case.
DUI Causing Injury Conviction
In order to convict you of DUI causing injury, the prosecutor must prove the following:
- The defendant was operating a motor vehicle;
- The defendant was driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
- The defendant broke the law or acted in an otherwise negligent manner while driving; and
- Such recklessness or negligence caused injury to another person, be it a passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist or the occupants of another vehicle.
Irvine DUI Collisions
The Irvine Police Department cracks down on impaired drivers. According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2010 statistics, three fatalities and 62 injuries were reported as a result of DUI collisions in Irvine. During that same year, five people died and 876 were injured as a result of all traffic accidents in the city of Irvine.
What to Do if you are Facing a DUI Causing Injury Charge in Irvine
There are several critical steps that you need to take if you are facing a DUI causing injury charge in order to protect your legal rights:
- Hire an experienced lawyer: Retain the services of an experienced Irvine DUI defense lawyer who will remain on your side throughout the process and ensure that your legal rights are protected. It is not a good idea to discuss the specifics of your case, such as where you were or whether you were drinking, without a lawyer by your side. What you tell law enforcement officers after your arrest can and often will be used against you.
- Determine your defense: If you have a legal defense in your case, the prosecutor may drop the charges against you. There are several questions to ask in such cases. Were you intoxicated involuntarily? For example, was your drink spiked without your knowledge? Were you driving under duress? Were you mistaken about the fact that you were intoxicated? For example, did you believe that the effects of your prescription drug had already worn off when you got behind the wheel? The answers to these questions may hold the key to your defense.
- Challenge the suspicion that you were impaired: The critical question in any DUI cause is whether you were under the influence at the time of the incident. In most cases, officers will say that they smelled alcohol in your breath or noticed you had bloodshot eyes or slurred speech which aroused their suspicion that you were under the influence. If you are able to establish that those symptoms were caused by a medical condition or some other factor as opposed to alcohol or drugs, you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
- Challenge breath and blood test results: When you are stopped by a police officer, he or she will use a Breathalyzer to measure the alcohol content in your blood. If you can prove that the Breathalyzer that was used was inaccurate or was not properly calibrated, you may be able to get the charges dismissed. Similarly, if you can prove that your blood sample was contaminated or improperly stored, your blood test results could become inadmissible in court. It is also important to look into how the tests were administered and whether the correct procedures were followed.
- Challenge field sobriety tests: There are several factors that can cause the results of field sobriety tests to be inaccurate such as fatigue, injury, illness and even weather conditions.
How Wallin & Klarich Can Help
At Wallin & Klarich, we have defended numerous individuals who have been charged with DUI causing injury. We know and understand how stressful, overwhelming and emotional facing a DUI charge can be for our clients and their families. If you or a loved one is facing a charge of DUI causing injury in Irvine, please contact our law office at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We offer free consultations and are here to help you understand your rights.