A violation of California Vehicle Code §23153(a), can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. This will commonly depend on several factors, and this is a charge that is often reduced to a misdemeanor when there is no great bodily injury (GBI). However, when there is GBI alleged pursuant to California Vehicle Code §12022.7(a), it is uncommon for a prosecutor to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor, unless there are serious problems with the evidence.
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There are various factors that you must consider when charged for a DUI causing injury. First, you must anticipate that the Judge is going to set a bail amount in your case. If you haven’t already bailed out of jail following your arrest, the Judge will likely set the schedule bail amount of $100,000.00 as the bail in your case, and possibly more if GBI is alleged. A skilled felony DUI attorney from The Law Office of Ben Mironer will expect this ruling, so we are always prepared to argue on your behalf to reduce or eliminate the bail altogether. We push for an Own Recognizance (OR) release for our clients, but we also provide our clients with a quality bail bondsman service referral, in case the Judge does remand them into custody.
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It is important to have a skilled felony DUI lawyer like Ben Mironer represent you in any felony DUI because your future can truly be affected. The consequences of being convicted of a felony DUI under California Vehicle Code §23153(a) is either probation with up to one year in county jail, or a prison term of 16 months, 24 months, or 36 months. If the GBI enhancement under California Vehicle Code §12022.7(a) is alleged, there is an addition 3 year term to be served consecutive to the sentence. This means the 3 years are served in addition to the underlying sentence for the DUI. GBI can be various injuries like fractures or concussions, but it is decided on a case by case basis. A prosecutor and Judge usually consider the severity of the injury and the required medical attention. This is also considered a violent crime, and carries a strike as well. This is the type of important information that our attorney will discuss with you throughout your case.
Aside from the other elements a prosecutor must prove in every felony DUI case, a prosecutor must show that the defendant was responsible (“at fault”) for the traffic collision. If the other driver was at fault, then it can’t be a DUI causing injury. A prosecutor must prove you were the proximate cause of the traffic collision, in order to prove a DUI causing injury. It is imperative to get a skilled felony DUI attorney to start advising you right away because there are steps that must be taken immediately to prepare a strong defense for your case. Our office generally works with an accident re-constructionist in these cases. We travel to the scene of the collision to investigate, and to review the reliability of the police reports. The stakes are much higher in these cases, and it is important to get a qualified attorney that knows how to challenge a prosecutor. It could honestly mean the difference between spending years in prison or months on house arrest.
A fourth offense DUI within 10 years, will usually be charged as a felony DUI. This means that the consequences are potentially 16, 24, or 36 months of prison. It is important to do a thorough investigation of the priors in these cases because a prosecutor must prove each and every prior was valid. We have been successful in these cases by doing the preliminary hearing and forcing the prosecutor to prove each and every prior. When someone has a prior DUI from a state other than California, it is critical to review the law in that state. Some states have DUI laws that are very different from ours in California. If a material difference exists in that state’s law, from the law in California, then it can’t be considered equivalent and is not deemed a prior in California based on established case law. A skilled DUI attorney from our office knows what to look for in these kinds of cases, and we utilize all of our expertise to help our clients. If we can show the court that at least one prior is not valid, then the case must get dismissed.
However, a trained felony DUI attorney knows lots of scientific facts on their side that tend to reoccur in felony DUI cases. Issues about the “inherent” lack of scientific reliability in both breath and blood testing, the poor methods of testing and imprecise devices used by law enforcement, false-high BAC readings during the absorptive phase, consumption of food delaying the absorption of alcohol, delays in chemical testing while rising BAC, poor blood sample preservation techniques and fermentation, numerous peer-reviewed articles, and scientific studies supporting the lack of reliability in chemical testing used by California law enforcement officers.
It is important for every client at The Law Office of Ben Mironer to understand the charges against them and all of their possible defenses. We bring peace of mind by educating our client’s as to the science, as well as the substantive legal issues behind their DUI defense. The only way to ease your mind, after a DUI arrest, is to hire an attorney that can show you a level of expertise that makes you feel like you’re in good hands.
If you’ve had a prior conviction for a felony DUI, within the past 10 years, then any DUI offense will be charged as a felony against you. It is important to know your rights and to know what you are up against. The stakes increase when you’re facing a second felony offense for DUI. The potential consequences increase substantially in court because the possibility of prison is very high in most of these cases. The Court may impose probation and county jail, but they have discretion to impose 16, 24, or 36 months of prison. Various factors are considered by the court during such a sentencing, and an attorney at The Law Office of Ben Mironer can help advocate and protect you in court. If you or a loved one are facing a Felony DUI, it is imperative to contact our office right away, so that we can take immediate steps in building your defense.