If you injure another person while driving under the influence in California, you will probably be charged with DUI with Injury, a felony under the California Vehicle Code. For a prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of DUI with Injury, the prosecutor must prove three facts: that you were driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, that you were driving negligently (speeding, for instance), and that your negligence was the direct cause of the other person’s injury.
A prosecutor will attempt to prove that you operated your vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher. California law presumes that if your BAC level is 0.08% or greater at the time you take a blood or breath test, you were in fact intoxicated and may be convicted of DUI. If your BAC level was 0.08 percent or higher, and you drove negligently and caused injury to another person, you will probably be charged with a felony punishable with prison time. You may also face legal penalties including restitution to the victim, higher insurance costs, court fines, loss of your driver’s and professional licenses, and alcohol education classes. Penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense.
If you are in an accident where another driver is injured, driving under the influence does not automatically make you guilty of DUI with Injury. A prosecutor still must prove that you were at fault because you violated a traffic law or drove negligently. For instance, if you were driving under the influence but you did not break any traffic laws, and the other driver in the accident was at fault, you may not be charged with a felony.
If you face any DUI charge in California, it’s imperative to obtain the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. A good DUI defense lawyer will help you gather evidence and witnesses, dispute test results, and will work to have your charge reduced or dismissed. Should your case go to trial, a good DUI defense lawyer will aggressively fight for your acquittal. If you’re facing the charge, speak to an experienced California DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.