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Vista DUI With Injury Attorneys

Defending North County Drivers in DUI Injury Cases

Given the massive number of drivers in California, our state takes reckless driving extremely seriously, sometimes even overcharging defendants for minor traffic violations. But when a driver is arrested in a DUI accident, North County courts can bring harsh penalties down if anyone suffered serious injuries. While these cases can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, anyone accused of a DUI with injury should secure diligent legal representation as soon as possible.

At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have spent more than 30 years defending clients in DUI cases and can provide a solid defense against a DUI with injury charge. Our lead Vista DUI attorney can utilize his prior experience as a LAPD investigator to review the charges against you and advocate for reduced sentencing or total dismissal of the case. The prosecution is already working on their case against you, so pick up the phone and call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

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How Are DUIs Charged in California?

California has strict laws against DUIs, the majority of which draw their definition based on California Vehicle Code 23153 VC. Under this law, it is illegal for any driver to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. If a driver is involved in a serious auto accident and the police suspect a driver is intoxicated, they may require a breathalyzer test. Generally, if the driver registers a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, he will be found at fault for the accident and, if anyone was injured, he can be charged with a DUI with injury.

The legal limits can also change. For example, commercial drivers can be charged with DUI with injury if they registered a BAC of 0.04% or higher after an accident, and drivers under the age of 21 can be charged if their BAC is 0.02% or higher.

In addition to the BAC limits, a driver can be charged with a DUI with injury if anyone, such as another driver, pedestrian, or a passenger in the vehicle, was injured in a collision. The punishment can be drastically increased if someone was killed, which can result in a vehicular manslaughter charge. All of these cases are taken extremely seriously in a North County criminal trial, and you can face significant penalties for a conviction. However, the prosecution must clearly demonstrate that you were at fault for the accident. While the police may assume that you are at fault because of a BAC test or signs of intoxication, you cannot be charged with this crime if someone else caused the accident.

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What Are Penalties for a DUI With Injury?

For first-time offenders, a DUI with injury is a wobbler, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony at the prosecutor’s discretion. Typically, if the injuries were minor and you registered a low BAC level, then the prosecutor will charge you with a misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor DUI with injury charges can result in:

  • Up to one year in a North County jail
  • A fine of between $390 to $5,000
  • Restitution to any injured parties
  • A one-year license suspension
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Informal probation
  • DUI school for three, eight, or 30 months

However, if someone was seriously injured in the crash, the prosecution could charge you with a felony. You can also be automatically charged with a felony in California if this is your third DUI with injury. Felony charges will dramatically increase the penalties you will face, including:

  • Up to 16 months to 10 years in a California state prison
  • Up to an additional six years in prison depending on how many people were injured
  • A fine of between $1,015-$5,000
  • Restitution to any injured parties
  • A one- to three-year license suspension
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Formal probation
  • DUI school for 18 or 30 months
  • A possible strike under California’s Three Strike Laws

A DUI with injury can also impact your career, education prospects, and personal freedoms. You may be barred from driving for years at a time, be unable to drive commercially, and may have to disclose your charge to any future employers or colleges you apply to. Felony convictions can also bar you from owning a firearm in California. In most other states, you could also lose your right to vote, but with the passing of Proposition 17, California felons are allowed to vote while on parole.

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Additional Charges You May Face

DUI accidents are complicated and can result in a variety of different charges depending on the nature of the collision. In addition to being charged with a DUI with injury, you can face:

  • Vehicular manslaughter, or California Penal Code 192(c) PC, if someone is killed in the accident
  • Felony hit and run, or California Vehicle Code 20001 VC, if you did not stop and provide assistance to an injured party
  • Child endangerment, or California Penal Code 273a PC, if a child was in your vehicle at the time of the accident

Each of these charges can add years to your sentence, increase the number of fines you have to pay, and impact your ability to see your child. In order to avoid a conviction, you should work with an attorney who has experience handling complex cases and defending clients against multiple charges.

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Fighting DUI Charges

At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we can provide a comprehensive defense strategy to protect your rights in a DUI with injury case. For you to be convicted under this charge, the prosecution must show that you were intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle and caused bodily harm to another person. Our lead attorney can work through the details of your case to beat each aspect of the charge, including showing that you were not intoxicated, that you were not at fault for the accident, and that no one was injured.

Common defenses in DUI with injury cases we have utilized in the past include:

  • The breathalyzer test showed a false positive
  • You only demonstrated the objective signs of intoxication
  • You were driving recklessly but not intoxicated
  • You were not at fault for the accident
  • You only caused property damage, and no one was injured
  • The arresting officers improperly conducted a breathalyzer or chemical test
  • The arresting officer committed some form of misconduct

Any of these defenses may apply to your case and prove useful in reducing your charges or getting your case dismissed. In addition to defending you in a criminal court, jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys can provide representation in a DMV hearing to ensure your license is not suspended.

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Work With an Experienced Vista Defense Lawyer

A DUI with injury conviction can completely upturn your life. You may have to serve a lengthy prison sentence, be buried under a mountain of fines, lose your reputation, and have difficulties moving forward with your career. In order to defend against such serious charges, you need a professional legal team on your side.

At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we firmly believe that every defendant deserves a fair and honest trial. We are dedicated to proving diligent legal representation in North County criminal trials and can utilize our more than 30 years of experience to defend you. To speak with a Vista criminal defense attorney at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, call our office at (760) 630-2000 and schedule a free consultation.

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James N. Dicks

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