DUI Defense Lawyers – DUI Accidents
DUI Accidents in California
If you have been involved in an accident while driving under the influence, you are facing serious legal consequences. DUI is a wobbler offense in California, meaning that prosecutors have discretion to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the circumstances of your case.
Crimes Involving Accidents Caused by Intoxication
Under California Vehicle Code 23152, it is illegal for a person to (a) drive under the influence of alcohol or (b) drive with a BAC of .08 percent or more. However, you face even more serious consequences if you are involved in a DUI accident resulting in injury or death.
DUI Causing Bodily Injury – VC 23153
Under California Vehicle Code 23153, you can be charged with DUI causing bodily injury if you cause another person to be injured while driving under the influence.
Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated – PC 191.5
Penalties for this crime vary depending on whether you acted with gross or ordinary negligence. Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated caused by gross negligence (you acted with malicious intent) is a felony in California.
Vehicular manslaughter caused by ordinary negligence is a misdemeanor in California.
Watson Murder – PC 187
You may be charged with second-degree Watson murder under California Penal Code 187 if you maliciously and intentionally cause the death of another while driving under the influence.
Sentence and Punishment for DUI Accidents
The penalties for DUI-related crimes differ depending on whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Penalties can increase if you have prior offenses. The following is a list of several common crimes involving DUI accidents and the punishments for each:
In California, your license will be automatically suspended if you are arrested for DUI. However, your license will be suspended for a longer period of time if you are involved in a DUI accident.
If you are convicted of misdemeanor DUI causing injury or death, your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year. If convicted of felony DUI or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, you will lose your license for a minimum of three years. The court, at its discretion, may increase your suspension period under certain circumstances.
In addition to the criminal penalties you face after a DUI accident, the DMV also has a separate administrative case against your driving privileges. Because there is no presumption of innocence in your DMV case, you face license suspension even if you are not convicted in criminal court.
In addition to jail time, fines and license suspension, a DUI accident can also have other consequences. Some of these additional consequences might include:
- Losing or being denied a professional license;
- Difficulty in finding employment;
- Losing your license could mean losing your job where driving is required;
- Required participation in alcohol education programs; and
- Increased car insurance rates.
If you have been involved in a DUI accident and are being charged with any of these crimes, you need to hire an experienced DUI attorney right away. A skilled DUI attorney will know the legal defenses to such criminal charges and can help you in your attempt to keep your license. Some possible defenses include:
- You were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident;
- Your actions were not the cause of injury or death
- You did not act negligently (neither ordinarily nor grossly) at the time of the incident.
Call the Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI causing injury or death in California, you need to contact an experienced California DUI attorney immediately.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled DUI attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing these charges for over 30 years. We will meet with you immediately to review the facts of your case, and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.