Posted by Gurjit Srai In DUI June 20, 2016 0 Comment

Under California law, a DUI involving either alcohol or other controlled substances is typically charged as a misdemeanor – unless it involves injuries to someone other than the driver facing the DUI. Since alcohol impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, it is foreseeable and generally the case that driving under the influence of alcohol can result in an accident involving serious injuries to the other party. When this is the case, California law allows the DUI to be charged as a felony.

California Drunk Driving Laws

California Vehicle Code section 23153 makes it illegal for a motorist to operate his or her vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or have a blood alcohol content (commonly referred to as BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, engage in an act forbidden by law (often a traffic violation other than the drunk driving), and the act causes injury to someone other than the driver.
The violation of this code section is known as a “wobbler.” This means that you can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor

The Consequences of Violating Vehicle Code Section 23153

Depending on whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you can face different consequences for the violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23153. Below is a brief summary of the punishment and consequences for each conviction:

– If you are convicted of the misdemeanor 23153 charge, you can:

  • Face 3 to 5 years of informal probation
  • Serve 5 days up to 1 year in county jail
  • Pay between $390 to $5,000 in fines
  • Attend DUI school
  • Serve a 1 to 3 year suspension of your driver’s license
  • Pay restitution to the party or parties you injured

– If you are convicted of the felony 23153 charge, you can:

  • Face 16 months, 2 years, or 4 years in a state prison
  • Forced to pay between $1,015 to $5,000 in fines
  • Attend DUI school
  • Serve a 5 year revocation of your driver’s license
  • Pay restitution to the party or parties you injured

It should be noted that if the injuries that you caused are deemed to be substantial, which lead to your felony charges, the prosecution may also allege a “great bodily injury” enhancement to your drunk driving charge. If you are convicted with an enhancement, it will result in an additional and consecutive 3 years in state prison for each additional party whom you injured. This conviction will also serve as a “strike” on your record under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Call an Experienced Fresno DUI Attorney Today!

If you or someone you know has been issued a drunk driving citation or arrested for drunk driving in Fresno, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced attorney to avoid a conviction on the charges.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno drunk driving attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.

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