Being charged with DUI is already a very serious matter in our state, with such charges frequently carrying steep penalties. DUI becomes an even more serious matter when an accident is involved, and one charged with a DUI accident can face very serious consequences.
California Vehicle Code §23153(2011) states that while drunk driving alone is illegal, when an incident leads to damage, including the injury of another, the penalties will be increased. These cases will be dependent on the specific circumstances in order to decide if it constitutes as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Consequences of a DUI AccidentThe penalties for DUI increase when an accident is involved.These penalties can include:
- Up to five years probation
- Fines up to $5,000
- Mandatory completion of a DUI class
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to one year drivers' license suspension
- Up to four years drivers' license suspension
- Mandatory completion of a DUI class
- Steep monetary fines
- Up to four years in prison
- A strike under the "Three Strikes Law"
An accident may cause damage to cars, buildings, homes and even those involved. The extent of the damage will be one of the main factors in deciding how to continue on with prosecution. Those that are found responsible for causing the accident or are found to be intoxicated during the time it occurs, may not only deal with higher penalties, but the obligation of restitution to those affected. At Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP, we strive to provide the highest quality legal service to those who have been charged with a criminal offense. Contact a lawyer in our criminal defense department today, and we will employ the considerable resources at our disposal in attempting to get your charges reduced or dismissed outright.
DUI Accidents with Injury
When an individual is involved in an accident in which an injury occurred, they may be tested for driving well impaired. DUI accidents that involve injury can lead to very severe penalties for the person responsible. Whether one is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depends on specific factors, including the extent of the victim's injuries, and the prior criminal history of the accused. The penalties can include:
- Probation lasting up to five years;
- One year drivers' license suspension;
- Attendance in a DUI education program;
- Fines up to $5,000; and
- Imprisonment for up to a year
- Up to $5,000 in fines;
- Drivers' license revocation lasting up to five years;
- Attendance in an 18 or 30-month DUI education program;
- A strike under California's Three Strikes Law;
- Three years of a Habitual Traffic Offender Status
- Up to four years in prison for first injured party; and
- Additional jail time up to six years for each victim
Prosecution will look to prove that it was the impairment from alcohol that was responsible for the accident occurring so it is necessary to dispute this in order to have a chance at avoiding conviction. Being convicted of a DUI accident with injury can prove ruinous to your life, in a personal and professional capacity. Following your punishment, you may experience additional adverse effects, such as the inability to find employment, or apply for a loan in order to purchase a home or car. It is in your best interest to seek out an experienced attorney who can fully investigate your charges, and fight to have your name cleared of any illegal activity. It is strongly advised that you contact an attorney at Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP right away if you have been charged with a DUI accident involving injury.
Vehicular Manslaughter Charges
A drunk driver who causes an accident in which someone is killed may face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code §191.5. In the event that you are facing such charges after a DUI accident, it is imperative that you contact an attorney at Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP right away. With over two decades of experience in practicing many areas of law, we are well suited to being able to represent you in your manslaughter case. Our criminal defense department will initiate a full investigation of the charges against you, and use the information found to build a defense that is intended to result in favorable outcome to your case.
Defining Vehicular Manslaughter
Vehicular manslaughter is considered causing the death of another individual or individuals due to negligent or reckless behavior while operating a motor vehicle. When a person causes a fatal accident due to driving while under the influence, they can be charged with felony DUI manslaughter. In our state, a person convicted of this charge will typically face penalties that include up to four years in state prison. If extreme recklessness or gross negligence can be proven on the part of the accused, they may face up to 10 years in state prison. For those with a prior conviction, 15 years to life may be sentenced. Additional prison time between three to six years can be faced if other victims were injured.
It is important to know that if you have been charged with felony DUI manslaughter, you still have options available to you. In hiring an experienced attorney, you will have someone fighting for your best interests for the duration of your legal proceedings. An attorney may be able to secure a resolution that sees you avoid stiff penalties such as prison time, or they may be able to help you avoid a conviction entirely.
Hit and Run Crime
In the state of California, it is considered to be a criminal offense to leave the scene of a DUI accident if you were involved. A person may flee the scene out of a reaction or for other reasons, but this action can lead to even further repercussions during an already difficult situation. In an accident it is necessary to stop and provide identifying information.
After an Accident
According to California Vehicle Code §20002(2010), should a driver be involved in an accident that resulted in property damage, it is the legal responsibility of the driver to immediately stop at the closest location. After stopping, the driver will need to notify the owner of the property which was damaged, exchange information or leaving a visible note with the proper information. If the accident resulted in injury, as defined by §20003, it is their responsibility to provide their name, address and the registration number of the vehicle. It is also their legal responsibility to assist the injured in a reasonable manner, including providing them with transportation for medical treatment. Failing to do so is a criminal offense that is considered either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the extent of the damage.
When charged with leaving the scene of the accident concurrently with a DUI charge, it is vastly important that immediate steps are taken to get the representation of a knowledgeable attorney that you can trust. These are complex cases and without the proper amount of assistance, you can easily find that you are left struggling between a rock and a hard place. At Floyd, Skeren and Kelly, we have extensive experience in handling DUI-related crimes, including felony and federal offenses. If you have been accused of driving while under the influence, even if this is compounded with other criminal charges, it is in your best interests to contact us as soon as possible.