California Vehicle Code 23153 VC defines the crime of “DUI causing injury” as driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to another person as a result. Prosecutors may charge this section as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
California Vehicle Code Section 23153 VC reads:
There are often situations in which a Los Angeles DUI offense results in an accident or collision that causes injuries to another party. In these cases, the driver may be charged with the more serious offense of driving under the influence causing injury pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) VC or driving with a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol content causing injury in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23153(b) VC.
To prove that the defendant committed DUI with injury under California Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) VC, the following elements must be established: (1) The defendant drove a vehicle. (2) When the defendant drove, he or she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both (3) While driving the vehicle under the influence, the defendant committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal due (4) The defendant’s act or negligence caused bodily injury to another person
To prove that the defendant was driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher and caused an injury under California Vehicle Code Section 23153(b) VC, a prosecutor must be able to prove the following elements: (1) The defendant drove a vehicle. (2) He or she did so with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. (3) When the defendant was driving with that BAC, he or she also committed an illegal act or failed to perform a legal duty. (4) This illegal act or failure resulted in bodily injury to another person.
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING 23153 VC
The consequences of a California “DUI with injury” conviction vary a great deal depending on the facts of your specific case, and whether it’s your first or second DUI within a ten year period (otherwise known as a “lookback” period). California DUI offenses are “priorable,” which means that your punishment necessarily increases with each subsequent conviction.
Below are the types of consequences and penalties that you face if convicted of misdemeanor or felony. Note that starting in 2019, it is usually mandatory that defendants install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car(s) for a certain period of time.
Misdemeanor DUI with injury under VC 23153
- Informal (“summary”) probation for three to five years,
- five days to one year in a county jail,
- between $390-$5,000 in fines,
- a three, nine, 18, or 30-month court-approved alcohol or drug education program (otherwise known as “California DUI school”),
- a one or three-year suspension of your California driving privilege (starting in 2019, the defendant may be able to continue driving without limitation if he/she installs an IID for 6 months), and
- restitution to any/all injured parties.
Felony DUI with injury under VC 23153
- Two, three, or four years in the California State Prison, with
- an additional and consecutive three- to six-year prison sentence if any victim suffers great bodily injury,12 or
- an additional and consecutive one-year sentence for each additional person that suffers any injury (up to three years maximum),13
- a “strike” on your record pursuant to California’s Three Strike’s Law if anyone other than yourself suffers great bodily injury,
- between $1,015-$5,000 in fines,
- an 18- or 30-month court-approved DUI school,
- Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status for three years, and
- a five-year revocation of your California driver’s license (starting in 2019, the defendant may be able to continue driving without limitation if he/she installs an IID for 1 year or longer).
DEFENSES FOR VIOLATING OF 23153 VC
Defending against a California Vehicle Code 23153 VC violation begins with the same approach as defending against any drunk driving charge. A California DUI defense attorney will explore all possibilities of proving that (1) you weren’t under the influence, and/or (2) your unlawful blood alcohol level was inaccurately reported.
A skilled California drunk driving defense attorney will additionally ensure that all investigation, arrest, and breath-testing procedures were properly adhered to–and use these issues to fight the VC 23153 charge if they were not.
The defense takes on an additional approach when focusing in on the accident and subsequent injury. A good criminal defense lawyer will work with an accident reconstruction expert who can independently evaluate whether the accident that caused the injury was truly your fault.
The accident reconstruction expert “reconstructs” the scene of the alleged VC 23153 DUI causing injury, taking into account factors such as the weather, road conditions, damage to the vehicles, and any other relevant evidence that he/she acquires.
When police arrive on the scene of an accident and learn that someone has been drinking, they tend automatically to assume that that person is to blame. Police traffic investigators then write their reports based on that presumption.
HELP YOU NEED
If you have been charged with a Los Angeles DUI offense it is very important to consult with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible. There are tight deadlines in every DUI case, especially in regard to driver’s licenses, and retaining an attorney early on can make a significant difference.
With many years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles DUI Attorney Chris Nalchadjian is highly effective at fighting all aspects of DUI charges. Mr. Nalchadjian understands the consequences a DUI conviction can carry and works hard to ensure his clients receive the best representation possible.
For more information about driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles DUI Attorney Chris Nalchadian at KN Law Firm. We can be reached 24/7 at 888 950 0011 or through this contact form.