California Vehicle Code 23153 VC – DUI Causing Injury
California Vehicle Code Section 23153 makes it unlawful to injure a person as a result of driving under the influence. DUI causing injury is a wobbler, meaning the prosecution has the discretion to charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony. You should not take DUI causing injury charges lightly as a conviction carries a maximum of four years in California State Prison.
So, if you have been charged with a DUI injury, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney to defend you and fight for you. Our lawyers have represented thousands of individuals who have been charged with DUIs, and we have been able to achieve great results for most of our clients.
Contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long period of time. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
Text of California Vehicle Code Section 23153 VC – DUI with Injury
According to California Vehicle Code Section 23153, “(a) It is unlawful for a person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.
(b) It is unlawful for a person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”
Note: For the purposes of CVC 23153, driving under the influence refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and or drugs. The definition also includes driving with a BAC level of 0.08% or more. So, if the prosecution proves any of these things, along with the fact that the defendant injured another person, the prosecution will be able to convict the defendant of a DUI causing injury.
Proving a Person Guilty of a DUI Causing Injury
For the prosecution to prove a person guilty of a DUI causing injury, the prosecution must prove a number of elements as true beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove even one element, it will not be able to convict the defendant of an injury DUI.
The prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant drove a vehicle,
- The defendant was under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, drug, and/or had a BAC level of 0.08% or more,
- The defendant was negligent, or violated a law, and
- The defendant’s violation of the law or his negligence injured another person
Note: The tricky requirement here is that the prosecution has to prove that the defendant acted negligently or violated a law that caused another person’s injury. For example, John was heading home from a party where he was drinking. John was speeding and he didn’t see the car in front of him and so John rear-ends the car. The appropriate charge would be DUI with injury because John violated a traffic law (speeding), and as a result of this violation, he rear-ended another person, causing them injury while he was under the influence of alcohol.
Penalties for a Person who is Convicted of a DUI Causing Injury in Violation of VC 23153
If the prosecution convicts a person of a DUI with injury, the penalties are different depending on whether the defendant is convicted of misdemeanor DUI causing injury or felony DUI causing injury.
Felony vs Misdemeanor DUI Causing Injury Charges Under VC 23153
Whether the prosecution charges a person of misdemeanor or felony DUI causing injury depends on the following factors:
- The facts and circumstances surrounding your case
- Number of prior DUI convictions
- A third DUI conviction that causes injury is an automatic felony charge
- Your criminal history
- The severity of the injury to the other person
Misdemeanor DUI Causing Injury Penalties
- Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
- Imprisonment for up 12 months in county jail (Mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail)
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Enrollment in and completion of a three, nine, eighteen, or thirty-month DUI education program
- Payment of restitution to the victim(s)
- Informal summary probation for three to five years
- One or three-year suspension of your driver’s license
Felony DUI Causing Injury Penalties
- Conviction of a felony offense
- Two, three, or four years imprisonment in California State Prison
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Enrollment in and completion of an eighteen or thirty-month DUI education program
- Payment of restitution to the victim(s)
- Formal felony probation
- Being labeled as an HTO (habitual traffic offender)
- A five-year revocation of your driver’s license
DUI Causing Injury Under 23153 VC Defenses
If you have been charged with a DUI causing injury, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you. Here are some of the defenses that your attorney may be able to use to defend you:
- You were not under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or marijuana
- You did not have a BAC level of 0.08% or above
- The police officer’s observations can innocently be explained
- The police officer conducted and unlawful search or seizure
- The accident was not due to negligence or breaking the law, and may have been the result of bad road conditions or bad weather conditions
If your DUI defense attorney can successfully make the following defenses, he may be able to have the charges against you dismissed or negotiate a plea deal for you where you plead guilty to a lesser offense, such as a regular DUI with no injury.
Offenses Related to DUI Causing Injury VC 23153
- Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated – California Penal Code Section 191.5 PC
- Felony Hit and Run Involving Injury or Death – California Vehicle Code Section 20001
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)
- Driving with a BAC level of 0.08% or More – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b)
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f)
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Los Angeles, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney at The H Law Group to represent you and fight for you in court. Our DUI lawyers have defended thousands of clients charged with every DUI crime there is, so we have the knowledge and experience and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
At the outset of every case, one of your DUI attorneys will go over the facts of your case to determine whether a dismissal is possible. If a dismissal is possible, our attorneys will communicate this dismissal to the prosecution. If the prosecution refuses to dismiss your case, we will do all that we can to negotiate the best possible plea deal for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.