for Your Rights
Have you been arrested for committing a DUI offense that resulted in an accident that involved injuries? If so, you may be dealing with charges for alleged DUI with injury, which carries stiffer penalties than those for regular DUI offenses. If you are in this situation, you will need to have a skilled DUI defense lawyer on your side to help you address your criminal charges. With 39 years of legal experience, our Santa Ana criminal defense lawyer at Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law is more than prepared to handle your case. Attorney Thomas Tears can review your DUI case and help you determine the most effective course of action, whether that involves fighting your charges through trial or working to get your charges reduced to simple DUI.
According to California Vehicle Code §23153, it is a crime to drive under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both substances while also breaking the law or driving negligently, with these combined actions subsequently causing another person injury. Breaking the law or driving negligently might involve acts such as speeding, running red lights, making unlawful or dangerous turns, etc. In offenses of DUI with injury, the injured person can be anyone who is not the actual alleged offender. For example, this might include another driver, a passenger in the alleged offender’s vehicle, a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, a bicyclist or a pedestrian.
The offense of DUI with injury can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony (felony DUI), depending on the circumstances of the case. According to California Vehicle Code §23554, a person convicted of a first offense of this crime can be sentenced 90 days to one year in county jail, a fine of $390 to $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension of one year. If probation is granted, the jail time can range from five days to a year. Sentencing can, however, become much more serious in cases in which the DUI offense results in especially serious injury or death, or the injuries or deaths of multiple people (§23558). Previous DUI-related convictions on the defendant’s record can also lead to harsher penalties.
Because there are multiple factors that must be proven in order to convict someone of a DUI with injury offense—intoxication, unlawful/negligent driving causing injury, and the actual injury—showing that one of these factors is not proven can potentially result in the charges being eliminated, or at least reduced. For example, if someone was driving under the influence and speeding, but the accident he or she was in was caused solely by other factors, this might be grounds for getting the defendant’s charges reduced to those of basic DUI.
Because of our attorneys’ extensive background in his field, he is well aware of how to best challenge charges for DUI with injury, as well as for many other types of DUI-related offenses. Contact our firm so we can help you get on track with your defense plan!