It is only a felony DUI with an accident in Vista Courts and throughout California if the accident was caused by the DUI driver and another person is injured or killed. If it is an accident with no one else injured other than the DUI driver, then it is still a misdemeanor. An accident, however can cause increased penalties even as a misdemeanor that are greater than a DUI without an accident.
A first offense misdemeanor DUI with an accident or without, still carries up to 6 months jail, a large fine, a DUI program and suspension of license. While many non-aggravted first offense DUI cases will not result in jail, public work service is often imposed depending on the facts of the case. Aggravating factors which could trigger custody or significantly more days of public work include high blood alcohol levels, high drug levels, lack of cooperation, an accident, refusal to take a chemical test, kids in the car, excessive speed, reckless driving, suspended license and other factors related to the case.
A first offense felony DUI with injury carries 5 days minimum jail up to a year with probation or up to a 3 year prison commit, up to $10,000 fine, Restitution, 1 year loss of license, and a DUI program. If there is great bodily injury to another then it can add an additional 3 year prison term to the charge if there is a prison commit and it will be a strike offense under the three strikes law.
DUI, driving under the influence or with a .08 BA (blood alcohol) or more is still a serious offense even as a misdemeanor, and is a felony with much more serious consequences if someone other than the DUI driver at fault is injured. Soft tissue injuries alone can make the DUI a felony, simply back and neck pain without being taken away in an ambulance. If you are arrested for a DUI, misdemeanor or felony, it is important you contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to address any license suspension actions and understand the process, the possible consequences and resolutions. Call Christoph Law Offices at 760-941-5720 for a free consultation. We have been providing the highest level of personal and professional DUI defense representation for over 34 years across from Vista Courts.