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Is the Crime of Drunk Driving Resulting in Injury a Misdemeanor or Felony in California?

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in DUI

Sonoma, CA DUI lawyerIn California, a charge of drunk driving resulting in injury can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on various factors surrounding the case. Understanding the distinctions between misdemeanor and felony DUI charges in California is crucial, particularly if you are facing charges and seek legal guidance as to what you can do to improve your situation. While many experience a sense of helplessness when facing serious criminal charges, do not fall into despair, for there are options at your disposal. Your first move should be contacting a criminal defense lawyer to safeguard your rights as you move through the process.

Here is What Californians Need to Know About DUIs Resulting in Bodily Injury

When a DUI results in injury to another person, it may be referred to as a “wobbler” offense in California. This means that prosecutors have the discretion to charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the circumstances of the case. Factors that may influence this decision include the extent of the injuries, the driver’s prior criminal record, and any aggravating circumstances present at the time of the incident.

If the DUI with injury is charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties may include fines between $2,300 and $3,000, as well as the possibility of a jail sentence between six months and one year in jail, as well as a revoked driver’s license for up to three years. However, if the offense is elevated to a felony, the consequences can be much more severe, including lengthier prison sentences, heftier fines, and permanent classification as a felon. Of course, all these consequences can seriously affect one’s life and career.

Why is DUI Causing Injury Not Always a Felony?

In cases where a DUI causing injury is charged as a felony, it is often due to factors such as prior DUI convictions, the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim, or other aggravating circumstances like excessive speeding or reckless driving. These factors can significantly impact the severity of the charges and the potential penalties that the individual may face if convicted.

Contact Our San Francisco, CA DUI with Bodily Injury Lawyer

Regardless of its classification as a misdemeanor or felony, this charge is very serious and must be treated as such. Contact the Sonoma, CA DUI with bodily injury attorney with Burglin Law Offices, P.C.. Call 415-729-7300 for a free consultation.

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