Driving under the influence is a crime punishable with jail time only if aggravating circumstances exist. Two important aggravating circumstances are:
- Being involved in an accident
- Being involved in an accident where someone was injured
An accident can refer to a collision with another car or to a single vehicle accident. When the event causes minor injuries, the charges change into a misdemeanor or felony DUI causing injury. A minor injury can be a small cut, a severe bruise, or a whiplash. Usually, injuries are suffered by car passengers. The charge can also be brought against DUI drivers that injured motorcyclists, cyclists, or pedestrians.
Charges change into felony DUI causing injury when the accident causes serious injuries, for example, broken bones, concussions or any injuries that require surgery. When the victim suffered great bodily injury, the sentence will be further increased. What represents a great bodily injury is established from case to case, considering the severity of the injury, the pain it caused and the medical care it required. Clear examples of great bodily injury are brain injuries or paralysis. Some courts have found that even broken bones or contusions can constitute a great bodily injury.
When an accident leads to someone's death, the driver will be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. There are two types of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated differentiated by the existence of gross negligence. Gross negligence is more than carelessness. It is acting in a way that creates a high risk of death that an ordinary person could have been aware of.
DUI Involving Accident or Injury Bail Bonds Costs in San Diego County
Bail amounts as specified in San Diego County's Bail Schedule vary between $20,000 and $500,000 for the following charges:
- DUI, alcohol or drugs, causing injury
- Vehicle manslaughter
- DUI without gross negligence
- DUI alcohol/drug bodily injury
- DUI .08 alcohol bodily injury
- DUI .04 alcohol commercial vehicle - bodily injury
A friend or family member who committed DUI causing injury will be facing a number of serious penalties. If you'd like to help a loved one get out of jail as soon as possible, you should contact our bail bonds agents in San Diego, Vista or Santee today.
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How Much Time in Jail Can Someone Get for DUIs Involving Accident Or Injury in San Diego County?
For a DUI involving an accident, a prosecutor will ask additional punishment. This can be:
- Jail time from three to six months or
- Community Service
- Work for Cal-Trans roadside
- Electronic monitoring
- House arrest
- Attendance of AA meetings
A driver charged with misdemeanor DUI causing injury faces:
- Summary probation from three to five years
- A minimum five-day jail sentence and a maximum of one year
- License suspension for at least one year and a maximum of three years
- Fines from $390 to $5,000
- Restitution for the injured parties
- Three to thirty months in an alcohol program
The penalties for felony DUI causing injury are:
- State prison from sixteen months to ten years
- Additional years for each injured person
- Additional years if anyone suffered great bodily injury
- Fines between $1,015 - $5,000
- Restitution for the injured parties
- Eighteen to thirty months in an alcohol program
Penalties for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated:
- From one to six years in a county jail or
- From sixteen months to three years in a state prison
Penalties for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated:
- From one to ten years in a state prison
DUI Involving Accident Or Injury in San Diego County: Case Examples
- Two friends went out one night and at 2:15 am they were driving back home. Their vehicle crashed into a parked school bus and, as a result, the man who was not driving died. Although the deceased man's family did not want the driver to go to jail, he pleaded guilty to DUI and involuntary manslaughter charges. He was sentenced to five years, but as he was offered suspension, served only two.
- The defendant was driving home from a party when he was rear-ended by another car. As a result of the accident, the second driver got a cut on his head. Prosecutors tried to charge the defendant with DUI causing injury. However, as he did not cause the accident or the injury, his charge will more accurately be a misdemeanor DUI.
- A driver crashed into a cyclist, throwing him off the road. That lead to the cyclist staying in a coma for more than two months and after that having to live in nursing care. The driver was convicted of felony DUI.
- The defendant was driving his FedEx truck when he slammed into a California Highway Patrol officer that was working on an accident scene. As a result, the CHP officer was seriously injured. This type of accident is not uncommon; moreover, a special law, the move-over law was instituted with the purpose of protecting public safety workers. The driver was arrested for felony DUI causing injury.
- Shortly after 6 p.m on a Saturday night, a motorcyclist traveled westbound and crossed the lane in front of a car. The vehicles collided and the motorcyclist died instantly. Officers arrested the driver on suspicion of DUI.
- The defendant, a drunk driver, ran an intersection stop sign, crashing into another vehicle. The impact sent the car that was hit into a third vehicle. Three people were injured in the multiple vehicle crash. The driver causing the accident was arrested for DUI.
- A little over a block from a high school, at 11.30 a.m., a speeding SUV lost control and veered onto the sidewalk. The vehicle hit a mailbox and rolled over. One minor occupant died in the accident and five other people were transported to the hospital. The 19-year-old driver was charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter.