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What Happens If I Get A DUI With Injury?

While being charged with a DUI is stressful enough, being convicted of a DUI which resulted in an injury to another person (including your own passengers) can be devastating. California courts take DUI that involve accidents very seriously, leading to harsher penalties. However, you must understand what the prosecution can go after depends on the severity of the accident.

If your DUI caused an accident which resulted in minor injuries, it becomes a misdemeanor DUI causing injury, which is associated with sentence enhancements, meaning longer jail time, longer license suspension, higher fines and court fees, as well as possible impoundment of your vehicle. On top of normal DUI penalties, a misdemeanor DUI causing injury carries a minimum jail sentence of five days and a minimum license suspension of one year.

If your DUI caused an accident which resulted in serious injury, such as a concussion, a broken bone, or another injury which requires surgery and takes a considerable amount of time to completely heal, you will most likely be charged with a felony DUI causing injury, which is substantial more serious than a misdemeanor charge. A felony DUI causing injury charge includes a prison sentence between one to five years and a fine over $1,000. Additional years may be added for each individual injured or if anyone sustained a “great bodily injury,” such as a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury.

Despite the seriousness of these penalties, they only apply if you are found guilty of the crime. The prosecution must prove (1) that you were under the influence of alcohol with a BAC level of 0.08% or more and (2) that you directly caused the accident, as well as the injury.

It’s important to understand that if the prosecution is unable to prove both of these circumstances, you cannot be convicted of a DUI causing injury in California. It’s imperative to have an experienced and skilled DUI lawyer on your side who can investigate your case and gather the evidence necessary to prove that you weren’t at fault for the accident or the injuries resulting from it.

Contact the Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers and schedule your free consultation today.