Felony DUI Based on Injury to Others


A California driving under the influence charge without any injury involved is generally charged as a misdemeanor. However, If you cause injury to another person as a result of your drunk driving, you can be charged with California Vehicle Code section 23153 “DUI with Injury.” If charged with California Vehicle Code section 23153, the prosecutor has the option of charging it as felony rather than a misdemeanor.

California Vehicle Code section 23153 is similar to California Vehicle Code section 23152, the standard DUI charge, in that it has two subparts of 23153(A) and 23153(B). In order to be convicted of 23153(A) the prosecutor need to prove that you drove a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both, you broke a law other than driving under the influence or acted in a negligent manner while driving, and that your unlawful act or negligence injured another person.

23153(B) is requires that you drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, you broke a law other than driving under the influence or acted in a negligent manner while driving, and that your unlawful act or negligence injured another person.

As I mentioned above, this charge is a “wobbler,” meaning that it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted of the misdemeanor 23153 charge, you can be sentenced to informal probation for 3-5 years, 5 days to 1 year in county jail, between $390-$5,000 in fines, DUI school, a 1-3 years suspension of your driver’s license, and restitution to person or persons injured.

However, if convicted of a felony 23153 charge, you can be sentenced to 2-4 years in a state prison, an additional 3-6 years in state prison if any victim suffers great bodily injury, an additional 1-3 years in state prison for each additional person injured, a “strike” on your record under California’s Three Strikes Law if someone suffers great bodily injury, between $1,015-$5,000 in fines, DUI school, a 5 year revocation of your driver’s license, and restitution to person or persons injured.

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