El Dorado County DUI with Accident

If you are involved in a DUI accident, the prosecutor is going to seek heavier penalties. Most judges and prosecutors look at DUI with accidents as a more serious DUI case. In fact if there is significant property damage or injuries you could be looking at some serious consequences including prison for those DUI accident cases where someone suffered serious bodily injury. 

El Dorado County DUI Accident No Injuries

If you are involved in a DUI accident where there are no injuries, in most cases you will be charged with a standard DUI.  Where a DUI accident affects you is in DUI sentencing.  Instead of getting a minimum sentence you will get additional punishment for the accident.  This can include additional jail time, actual jail time instead of alternative sentencing, and additional probation terms.  Additionally, restitution is always an issue in DUI accident cases.                  

Restitution in DUI Cases

Restitution is usually an issue in DUI cases whenever there is an accident.  Restitution can be ordered to repair property that was damaged by the DUI driver, pay for medical expenses if a person suffered injuries, and to compensate the police for doing an investigation in your DUI case.

El Dorado County DUI Accident Minor Injuries

If you are involved in a DUI accident where there are minor injuries, in most cases you will be charged with a dui with injury.  A DUI with injury can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony.  In most cases with minor injuries the case will be charged as a misdemeanor.      

DUI with Injuries vc23153 –  Can be Misdemeanor or Felony

A DUI causing injuries is a “wobbler” offense.  This means the prosecutor can charge it as a felony or a misdemeanor.  The deciding factor is usually the severity of the injures and the defendants’ prior criminal record.  Minor soft tissue injures are usually filed as misdemeanors while more serious injuries are usually filed as felonies.  A bad criminal history or prior DUI convictions will motivate a prosecutor to charge the case as a felony even if there are minor injuries.      

Misdemeanor DUI Upgraded to Felony DUI

Because a misdemeanor DUI gets upgraded to a felony due to the injuries, a person will sometimes get arrested on a misdemeanor DUI with injury and then have the misdemeanor get enhanced to a felony at the first court date.  This can be a shock to a person who was arrested on a misdemeanor and released from jail on a low bail only to come to court to find out how serious the case is.  If you have a DUI injury case, contact an attorney immediately.          

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Misdemeanor

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI causing injury, you will face a minimum of 90 days up to one year in county jail, between $390 and $1000 in fines, a 3, 6, or 9 month dui class, restitution to any victims, and placed on 3 to 5 years of informal or formal probation.  Mandatory IID up to 3 years.   Your driving privilege will be suspended for a minimum of one year with no restriction eligibility. 

DUI Accident Serious Injuries

If you are involved in a DUI accident where there are serious injuries, in most cases you will be charged with a felony DUI with injury.  If you can afford an attorney, get one because you could be looking at a significant amount of time in jail or prison.    

Felony DUI with Injuries – VC23153

If you injure someone in a DUI related case, you could be charged with a felony. In order to be convicted of a DUI with injury as a felony, the prosecutor must prove:

  • You drove a vehicle;
  • You were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, drug, or a combination of both;
  • You committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty while driving; AND
  • Your illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty while driving caused serious bodily injury to another person.

Injuries Defined

Any injury caused by a DUI driver is enough to be charged with a 23153.  Injuries include broken bones, bruises, soft tissue injuries (back or neck strains), cuts, abrasions, and even seat belt bruises.

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Felony with probation no priors   

If you are convicted of a first offense felony DUI causing injury and are granted probation, you will face a minimum of 90 days up to one year in county jail, between $390 and $1000 in fines, a 3, 6, or 9 month dui class, restitution to any victims, and placed on 3 to 5 years of informal or formal probation.  Mandatory IID up to 3 years.   Your driving privilege will be suspended for a minimum of one year with no restriction eligibility. 

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Felony with probation one prior

If you are convicted of a felony DUI causing injury, have one prior, and are granted probation, you will face a minimum of 120 days up to one year in county jail, between $390 and $5000 in fines, an 18 month dui class, restitution to any victims, and placed on 3 to 5 years of felony probation.   Mandatory IID up to 3 years.   Your driving privilege will be revoked for 3 years.    

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Felony No probation no priors   

If you are convicted of a felony DUI causing injury, have no priors, and are not granted probation, you will face 16 months, 2 or 3 years in prison with an enhancement of 3 to 6 years in prison if any victim suffers great bodily injury (GBI) and a 1 year additional sentence for each additional victim that suffers injury (up to 3 years max).  Great Bodily Injury is defined as “significant or substantial physical injury.  It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.”  If a victim suffers great bodily injury, you will be charged with a strike offense which has significant consequences in any subsequent criminal case you might get.  You will be ordered to pay fines in the amount of $390 and $1000 in fines, take a 3, 6, or 9 month dui class, pay restitution to any victims, and placed on parole or post release community supervision.  You will be required to install an IID for up to 3 years and your license will be suspended for 1 year.      

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Felony No probation one prior   

If you are convicted of a felony DUI causing injury and have one prior and are not granted probation, you will face 16 months, 2 or 3 years in prison with an enhancement of 3 to 6 years in prison if any victim suffers great bodily injury (GBI) and a 1 year additional sentence for each additional victim that suffers injury (up to 3 years max).  Great Bodily Injury is defined as “significant or substantial physical injury.  It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.”  If a victim suffers great bodily injury, you will be charged with a strike offense which has significant consequences in any subsequent criminal case you might get.  You will be ordered to pay fines in the amount of $390 and $5000 in fines, take an 18 month dui class, pay restitution to any victims, and placed on parole or post release community supervision.  You will be required to install an IID for up to 3 years and your license will be revoked for a period of 3 years.    

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Felony No probation 2 or more priors   

If you are convicted of a felony DUI causing injury and have two or more priors, and are not granted probation, you will face 2, 3, or 4 years in prison with an enhancement of 3 to 6 years in prison if any victim suffers great bodily injury (GBI) and a 1 year additional sentence for each additional victim that suffers injury (up to 3 years max).  Great Bodily Injury is defined as “significant or substantial physical injury.  It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.”  If a victim suffers great bodily injury, you will be charged with a “strike offense” which has significant consequences in any subsequent criminal case you might get.  You will be ordered to pay fines in the amount of $1015 and $5000, take an 18 month dui class, pay restitution to any victims, and placed on parole or post release community supervision.  You will be required to install an IID for up to 5 years and your license will be revoked for a period of 5 years.    

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Multiple Victims Enhanced Penalty

There is an enhanced penalty for multiple victims.  Vehicle code section 23558 states that “ Any person who proximately causes bodily injury or death to more than one victim in any one instance of driving in violation of Section 23153…shall, upon a felony conviction…receive an enhancement of one year in the state prison for each additional injured victim….The maximum number of one year enhancements which may be imposed pursuant to this section is three.”

DUI with Injuries VC23153 – Felony Enhancement strike Offense

Where a DUI with injury is charged and the injury is severe the defendant will likely be charged with enhancement under PC 12022.7. PC 12022.7 allows for a 3 to 6 enhanced prison sentence where the alleged victim of a DUI “great bodily injury.”  Great Bodily Injury is defined as “significant or substantial physical injury.  It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.”  If a victim suffers great bodily injury, you will be charged with a strike offense which has significant consequences in any subsequent criminal case you might get.  This is a strike under California’s three strikes law. 

After Felony Arraignment 

If you are charged with a felony, after felony arraignment, your Felony DUI case will be set for a preliminary hearing where the DA must present witnesses to support the charges against you.  Prior to the preliminary hearing, a pre-preliminary hearing is usually set which allows settlement negotiations between your attorney, the court, and the DA to occur.      

Preliminary Hearings

A preliminary hearing is a proceeding to determine whether, and to what extent, criminal charges will be heard by the court.  Should the court decide that there is probable cause, a formal charging instrument will issue; and the prosecution will continue. If the court finds that there is no probable cause, then typically the prosecution will end.  If a judge determines that there is sufficient evidence to believe that the defendant committed the crime, it is said that the defendant is “held to answer”.  After a defendant is held to answer, the judge will set a date for arraignment. A new pleading is filed with the court and the defendant can enter a plea at his or her arraignment date.  At the new arraignment, a trial date is usually set. 

Felony DUI – State Prison Sentence

In a felony DUI with injury case, you could be denied probation and sentenced to state prison.  To be sentenced to state prison you must be denied probation on your felony DUI case or you suffered a prior felony dui conviction within the last 10 years.            

Felony DUI with Probation Granted

In a felony DUI with injury case, you may be eligible for felony probation instead of prison.  The maximum punishment with probation is up to 1 year in jail.   To determine if you are eligible the court will look to California Rule of Court section 4.414 which lists the probation eligibility factors:

  • Seriousness and circumstances of the crime compared with similar crimes
  • If defendant was armed
  • Vulnerability of the victim
  • Degree of monetary loss to the victim
  • If crime was carried out in a criminally sophisticated manner
  • Defendant’s prior record, as an adult or juvenile
  • Defendant’s willingness to comply with terms of probation
  • Likely effect of imprisonment on the defendant and his her dependents

El Dorado County Felony DUI Probation    

If you are granted felony probation, it will be for a period of 5 years.  The standard felony DUI probation terms include: no driving with any alcohol in your system, no refusal of chemical tests, submit to search and seizure for blood/breath, enrolling and completing the DUI class, paying fines/fees, paying restitution, obeying all laws, don’t drive unless properly licensed and insured, completing your jail sentence, and showing up for all court ordered appearances.  It may also include regular alcohol testing, probation searches, regular contact with your probation officer, AA meetings, community service and installing an ignition interlock device.      

Felony Probation Consequences

You can still go to prison if you violate probation up to the maximum sentence of 3 years for a felony DUI.  You must pay for felony probation supervision which can cost thousands of dollars.  Felony probation restricts your travel out of the state unless you get your probation officers permission.  It also only allows you to move to another jurisdiction or state if the other jurisdiction or state accepts your probation transfer.  You will be required to keep and maintain employment and participate in counseling if required by probation.        

Habitual Traffic Offender Designation

On felony DUI cases the judge will designate the DUI driver a habitual traffic offender.  Once this designation is in place, all subsequent driving offenses are subject to significant penalties, including lengthy jail sentences.  If the defendant has been designated a habitual traffic offender, a first time driving violation would result in a mandatory sentence of 30 days in jail in addition to a $1,000 fine. This jail time would be consecutive to any other sentence imposed for the driving conduct. For a second or subsequent violation of the habitual traffic offender law, the defendant would be sentenced to a mandatory 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Again, the 180 days would be consecutive to any other sentence imposed.

No Alcohol Terms

In most DUI with injury cases, the court will order a “no alcohol” term as part of probation.  This means you will be on search and seizure for alcohol including on your person, vehicle, or home.  You will also be prohibited from using or possessing alcohol and will not be permitted to be anywhere where alcohol is the primary item of sale like bars.  You will be randomly tested for alcohol by the probation department.

Felony DUI school

If you are convicted of a Felony DUI with injury with no priors you will be required to take the 3, 6, or 9 month dui class.  If you are convicted of a DUI with prior’s you will be ordered to complete the 18-month DUI program which costs approximately $1800.  All programs have payment plans.  To sign up for the DUI class you will need your court paperwork or an H6 DMV printout.             

Ignition Interlock Requirment

If you are convicted of a DUI with injury, you will be required to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle for a period of 3 to 5 years.  This device will not let you start or continue to operate your vehicle if you have alcohol in your system.  The cost of the IID varies between IID providers but it is approximately $70 to install and $60 a month.  Shop it for the best price.          

El Dorado COunty Alternative Sentencing

In most DUI with injury cases, the court will require you to do either all or a portion of your sentence in actual jail.  In some cases, this means no alternative sentencing in others maybe a combination of jail and alternative sentencing. 

El Dorado County DUI FInes and Fees

You can expect to pay approximately $2000 or more if you are convicted of a DUI with Injury.  The El Dorado County court will allow you to make payments.  If you fail to make payments, you will be referred to collections.  If you are referred to collections, your license will be suspended for failing to make payments and you will not be able to get your license reinstated until you pay off the amount you owe.  You may also have your probation violated for not making payments.  In some jurisdictions, you may be able to convert you your fines/fees to alternative sentencing which can save you a lot of money.         

Violating DUI Probation

You will be in violation of probation if you fail to comply with the court ordered probation terms including staying in contact with your probation officer, failing to enroll/complete DUI classes, complete AA or community service requirements, appear in court when ordered, or completing your jail sentence.  If felony probation is violated, the judge will issue a bench warrant which will be sent to law enforcement.  You will then be arrested and brought back to court to answer for the violation of probation.  In felony cases, a no bail warrant could be issued which means you are stuck in jail until the outcome of your probation violation case.    

DUI Violation of Probation Punishment

Violating DUI with injury probation results in additional punishment and DUI probation terms.  This could include going from jail to prison, a longer sentence for the VOP that is added to your original DUI sentence, and adding additional terms like treatment or community service.              

CA Restitution Law

The California Constitution provides that restitution shall be ordered in every case where a person is convicted of a crime involving a victim who suffered a loss.  “It is the intent of the Legislature that a victim of crime who incurs any economic loss as a result of the commission of a crime shall receive restitution directly from any defendant convicted of that crime.” (Penal Code § 1202.4) 

Parent Liability for Restitution

If the offender is a juvenile, the parent or guardian is presumed to be jointly and severally liable for the restitution owed. (Welfare & Institutions Code § 730.7) This presumption of liability is rebuttable and is subject to the limitations outlined in Civil Code §§ 1714.1 and 1714.3.

Restitution Not Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

Criminal Restitution is a permanent order that does not expire and is not dischargeable through bankruptcy. (Penal Code § 1214)

Court Ordered Restitution

Restitution is monetary compensation owed to the victim for any damages they suffered because of a person’s criminal conduct.  State law requires judges to order an offender to pay restitution in every case in which the victim has suffered an economic loss as a result of a crime.  Some of the losses covered include:

  • Property Loss
  • Medical and Dental Expenses
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Wage and Income Loss
  • Interest
  • Possible Future Loses

Determining Restitution Amounts

Victims have a right to restitution for the value of damaged property, defined as replacement cost of like property or the cost of repair, if repair is possible. Restitution for damaged property that can be repaired is the lesser of market value before crime minus the value after crime or reasonable cost of repairing property to condition before the damage by defendant. (People v Yanez (1995) 38 Cal.App4th 1622, 1627)

Insurance Coverage

In most cases, insurance will cover all of the damages that are being claimed in a DUI accident case.  But if there are additional expenses not covered by your insurance company, you may be liable for those expenses.

No Insurance Coverage

If you do not have insurance, then you will be required to pay out of pocket for the full amount of the restitution order

RestituTion for Police Services

Government code 53150 allows for the police to collect restitution for emergency response services related to dui accidents.  In DUI cases where there is an accident you will most likely receive a bill from the law enforcement agency seeking reimbursement for their time in responding to the DUI accident.  The amount of this bill is often included in any restitution order by the court.  You can challenge this bill if you feel it is too high. 

Restitution Converted to Civil Judgements

A criminal or juvenile Order for Restitution is enforceable as a civil judgment (Penal Code § 1214). The law establishes procedures for the enforcement of civil judgments.  Restitution can be collected through garnishments, levies, or liens.  It is best to resolve the restitution issue at the time your case is concluded so you know what is owed. 

Restitution Hearing

If you disagree with the amount of restitution that a judge orders or that the victim requests, you have the right to a hearing to challenge the amounts requested.  For example, we have had cases where the claim for a telephone pole was over $20,000 dollars.  After a restitution hearing, we were able to get that amount reduced significantly for our client because the actual replacement value of the pole was much less then what was being requested.      

DUI Expungement

Even if you are convicted of a DUI with injury, you can still get your case expunged.  A felony DUI wit injury is a wobbler that can be reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged.  An expungement allows you to lawfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime.  To be eligible, you must have successfully completed probation, paid all you fines and fees, and completed the terms of your probation.  DUI expungements are not mandatory but are discretionary.  When you hire our law firm we will help you with your expungement when you become eligible so that your criminal record and history our as clean as possible moving forward in life. 

You don’t have to plead guilty, contact our office today for a free same day consultation

Because you have so much to lose you need the most experienced and aggressive DUI Accident defense attorneys on your side.  Whether it’s defending you in trial or negotiating for dismissal, you can count on us.  Our experienced and aggressive negotiating efforts usually result in better outcomes for our clients including reduced charges, lesser jail days, and smaller fines.  Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 or (530) 621-1800 to speak directly to an attorney about your DUI accident case.  We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.