North County DUI With Injury Defense Attorney
Arrested After a DUI Accident in North County?
Being involved in a car accident can be a nerve-racking experience, which can quickly turn into terror if you are arrested for a DUI. When a driver is arrested for allegedly causing a DUI collision, it can quickly turn into a felony case. In addition to potentially losing your license, you could be sent to prison, pay enormous fines, and be punished long after you are released.
If you or someone you love was charged with a DUI with injury, you need a strong defense immediately. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our lead trial attorney is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist who thoroughly understands that complex issues surrounding DUI arrests. We can begin preparing to protect your future. To work with a North County DUI attorney who has more than 30 years of experience, call us at (760) 630-2000 and get a free consultation.
How Courts Handle DUIs With Injuries
Simply driving while intoxicated in San Diego can lead to a standard DUI charge, which will look at your prior offenses to determine your punishments. However, if you are charged with driving under the influence and injuring someone else, then the charge becomes a DUI with injury, according to California Vehicle Code 23153 VC. To charge you with this crime, the prosecution must prove that you:
- Injured another person; and
- Were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
It is important to note that the injured person does not have to be another driver. If you caused an accident and a passenger in your own vehicle was injured, then you can be charged with a DUI with injury in North County. However, if another driver caused the collision and injured himself, then you cannot be charged with a DUI with injury, even if you were intoxicated.
However, if your actions led to the death of another person while you were driving under the influence, it can be elevated to vehicular manslaughter, which is one of the most serious DUI charges you can face.
Facing Misdemeanor or Felony Charges?
A DUI with injury may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the extent of the victim’s injuries. Causing minor injuries may only result in a misdemeanor, which still has hefty penalties. Causing serious injuries will likely be a felony, with penalties that include being placed in a state prison. However, the felony charge can be enhanced if the victim suffered a “great bodily injury,” according to California Penal Code 12022.7 PC. Great bodily injuries include brain damage, disabilities, paralysis, or any long-lasting injury that affects a victim’s life.
Prosecutors can also pursue felony charges if you:
- Have two or more prior DUI with injury charges on your record; or
- Have three or more prior DUI charges on your record.
Prior charges can result in your current DUI with injury being an automatic felony, even if your prior charges were misdemeanors.
Penalties for a DUI Arrest
With any DUI case, there are two types of penalties: administrative and criminal. After being arrested for a DUI, you will receive a temporary 30-day driver’s license, and the DMV will automatically suspend your license if you do not convince them otherwise in a DMV hearing, which must be scheduled 10 days after the arrest. Failing to win the DMV hearing can result in a four-month license suspension after your 30-day temporary license has expired.
But the more serious penalties rest on the criminal side of your case. For a misdemeanor DUI with injury, you can face:
- Between five days and one year in county jail;
- Between $390 and $5,000 in fines;
- DUI school for three, nine, 18, or 30 months;
- One- or three-year license suspension;
- Six-month license suspension with an ignition interlock device;
- Restitution to victims; and/or
- Informal probation for three years.
When the alleged victim suffered a serious injury, the charge becomes a felony, which comes with:
- Two, three, or four years in state prison;
- An additional year for each injured individual (up to three years);
- An additional three to five years if the victim suffers a great bodily injury;
- Up to $5,000 in fines;
- DUI school for 18 or 30 months;
- Five-year license revocation;
- Being labeled a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO);
- Restitution to victims; and/or
- Formal probation for five years.
Defending Against a North County DUI With Injury Charge
The harsh consequences of a DUI with injury charge can put you behind bars for almost a decade if you do not have a strong defense. Prosecutors will almost always seek the strictest penalties and use all their resources to secure a conviction. But at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have fought and won the toughest DUI cases in North County. We can use all of our knowledge to work to keep you out of jail.
Defenses that we can use in a DUI with injury case include:
- You were not intoxicated at the time of the collision.
- You did not cause the collision, and someone else injured the alleged victim.
- Your DUI test showed a false positive.
- The police made an error during a field sobriety or breathalyzer test.
- The victim did not suffer an injury or their injuries were minor.
Contact a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist
No one should go into a courtroom without an experienced attorney at his side. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our firm has spent more than 30 years fighting to get North County residents the best possible outcomes in both DMV hearings and criminal trials. When we take on a new client, we investigate every aspect of their case to build a solid defense and dismantle each of the prosecution’s arguments. Our lead North County criminal defense lawyer is a Board-Certified Criminal Specialist, and his wealth of knowledge may get your charges reduced or dismissed.
To get a free case evaluation, call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000.
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