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California Vehicle Code 23153 | DUI Causing Injury

Posted in California Law,DUI on June 7, 2024

While a first, second, or third DUI offense in California is typically a misdemeanor, a DUI causing injury can result in felony charges being lodged against you. Don’t put your freedom in jeopardy. Contact the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC to protect your legal rights.

What Is California Vehicle Code 23153 DUI Causing Injury?

Under California Vehicle Code 23153, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence and cause an accident where someone else is injured while doing so. Specifically, this law holds people criminally responsible when they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while doing an act forbidden by law or neglecting a legal duty, which proximately causes bodily injury to someone other than the driver.

Penalties for California Vehicle Code 23153 DUI Causing Injury

California prosecutors have the discretion to charge DUI causing injury as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Misdemeanor penalties for this offense include:

  • Jail time of up to one year
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Informal probation for three to five years
  • DUI school
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to three years
  • Restitution to the victim

The felony penalties for DUI causing injury can result in the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment of up to four years
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • A strike under the California Three Strikes Law
  • DUI school
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to five years
  • Habitual Traffic Offender status for three years

An experienced attorney can work to negotiate a favorable plea agreement or argue to have charges dismissed.

Defenses to DUI Causing Injury

It can sometimes be difficult for a prosecutor to establish all of the legal elements of this offense to secure a conviction, which is why the charge is sometimes reduced to a DUI or wet reckless charge instead. Defenses to this offense often include showing that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof of all of the following legal elements:

  • You were under the influence – The prosecution must prove that you were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs to secure a conviction. There may not be proof of this if you did not take a breath or chemical test near the time of the accident.
  • Someone else suffered a bodily injury – You can only be convicted if the prosecution can show you injured another party while you were driving under the influence. If no one other than you was injured, this is a viable defense to these particular criminal charges.
  • You committed an illegal act or neglected a legal duty – The prosecution must establish that you committed some specific illegal act or neglected a legal duty. Your lawyer may be able to show you did not violate a legal duty to prevent a conviction under this code.

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Riverside can carefully evaluate your case to determine if other viable defenses apply.

Call for a Free, Confidential Consultation

If you are facing criminal charges for DUI causing injury, an experienced Riverside DUI attorney from The Law Offices of Graham D. Donath APC. Call us today at (951) 667-5293 or contact us to arrange a free, confidential case review.