While being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in a number of harsh penalties, being arrested for a DUI with accident involvement is even worse, especially if another person is injured as a result. If you have been charged with drunk-driving and got into an accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Napa DUI attorney as soon as possible. We offer free Napa DUI case reviews. Contact us today for yours!
Penalties for DUI with Accident Involvement
A drunk-driver who causes an accident that results in the injury of another person faces enhanced penalties. In many instances, the driver faces a felony DUI charge rather than a misdemeanor DUI. The act of drunk driving with accident involvement and injury is described in California Vehicle Code 23153 as follows:
“It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug [or with a BAC of .08 or higher], to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”
The person injured may be a passenger, a pedestrian, or someone in another vehicle. An added drunk-driving penalty that is imposed when a DUI offender injures one other person ranges anywhere from 90 days to one year in a county jail or 16 months to 3 years in a state prison. For each additional person injured, an additional year in a state prison may be added. If the accident results in the death of another person, the DUI offender faces anywhere from 15 years to life in prison.
It is important to note that being involved in an accident in which another person is injured does not necessarily mean you are at fault or are subject to enhanced penalties or a felony DUI charge. For instance, while you may have been intoxicated, you may have been driving appropriately and did not cause the collision. If it can be established that another driver caused the accident, then you are guilty of only a misdemeanor DUI. In order for enhancements or a felony DUI charge to be imposed, the District Attorney must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the conditions and/or circumstances of the incident could have been avoided and were not avoided because you were driving drunk.
As highly-skilled Napa DUI attorneys, we know how to effectively handle such charges by creating skillful defenses that involve accident reconstruction and independent toxicology analysis. We work with some of the top accident reconstruction specialists in the state and have been able to help clients avoid felony DUI charges. You need experienced Napa DUI attorneys by your side! You need the Napa DUI law firm!