A DUI with an accident is a felony only if another person is injured. A property damage only accident with a DUI is a misdemeanor in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, Vista and everywhere in California. However, an accident is an aggravating factor even on a misdemeanor, regardless if it is a single car accident with no other proerty damage. Courts consider driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug to be more serious where there is an accident of any kind and sentences are generally greater. Clearly the more damage or more dangerous the driving makes the case more serious and will generally result in greater sentences.
If there is an injury of another, even just soft tissue sore back or neck, the District Attorney in Vista, California tends to file a felony. It may be possible during the course of the case to get it reduced to a misdemeanor depending on a number of factors like defendants record, dangerousness of the driving, restitution etc. If there is a serious injury, broken bones or stitches, the case may be filed as a “strike” under the 3 strikes law. A “strike” case involving GBI (great bodily injury) can result in serious custody, including state prison and there can be additional enhancements which can add 3 years in prison for the injury on top of the possible 3 years for the DUI with injury. There can be 1 year enhancements added to that for every additional victim after one.
Call Christoph Law Offices for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. We have been across from Vista Courts for over 30 years and handled over 300 DUI cases, many with priors, injury and even death. These are serious cases and we provide the huighest level of professional representation and can help you achieve the best result in your case.