Visalia & Fresno DUI Defense Attorney
In Visalia, California, law enforcement agencies are constantly on the lookout for those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while criminal attorneys try their best to help those who find themselves facing DUI charges.
Fortunately for those who find themselves facing a DUI with injury charge, a good criminal attorney can help you get back on track with your life. Like all criminal offenses, the burden of proof lies on the state.
Facing DUI charges in California? Schedule a case review with our Visalia DUI attorney to discuss your defense options.
DUI Accident Laws in California
Under California vehicle code section 23153, it is illegal to cause bodily harm to a third party while driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. This law applies to California as well as every other place in the U.S. In order to get a conviction for a DUI with injury under vehicle code section 23153, the prosecution has to prove:
- Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was indeed driving the vehicle, just like they would have to for a regular DUI case without any bodily injury to a third party.
- The state also has to prove that the defendant was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both while operating the vehicle. If alcohol is involved in the case, the prosecution has to prove that the accused had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. This is also something the state would have to prove for a regular DUI case without injury.
- To escalate the charge from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to a DUI with injury, the prosecutor has to prove that the defendant committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty. That can be anything from speeding to running a red light.
- Finally, to prove the defendant's guilt, the state also has to prove that the illegal act (or neglected legal duty) performed by the accused led to the accident that caused injury to a third person(s). In legal terms, the prosecution must prove the accused was a “substantial factor” leading to the injury.
Penalties for DUI Accident
DUI involving an accident is a pretty serious offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The former carries a maximum sentence of one year and a fine—or both—if convicted, while the latter carries a max punishment of three years in state prison.
Depending on the severity of the injuries suffered by the third party, the prosecution also has the option of adding a “Great Bodily Injury” enhancement that automatically adds an extra three years to the final sentence. To make things worse, at times, a conviction counts as a strike under the state of California's “Three Strikes Law,” meaning the defendant would have to serve, at least, 85 percent of the sentence if convicted. And it would also put the defendant two felony convictions away from serving a 25-to-life sentence.
DUI Accident Defense Strategies
Like most legal procedures, proving a DUI with injury charge is a complicated process, and an experienced DUI attorney will make things even more complicated for the prosecution. Given the fact the prosecution has to prove all four points mentioned above, there's always a decent chance a competent lawyer will be able to find a few holes in the state's case.
For example, claiming you were under the influence of prescription drugs won't do much for you in court, and neither will your attempt to gain sympathy points with the jury by claiming you were sleepy after a hard day's work.
Experienced Visalia DUI ATTORNEY
The state of California makes fighting your DUI charges alone a difficult task. Our Visalia DUI defense lawyers will help you fight your DUI with an injury charge.
So, if you're one of the unfortunate folks that have been recently charged with DUI with injury in Visalia, California, no need to lose hope. Do a little research, find an excellent lawyer, and you very well might be moving forward with your life a lot sooner than you initially thought.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Visalia, schedule a consultation to discuss your defense options with our defense attorney today!
While many might be unaware of alcohol effects on the human body and its absorption rate over time, most might be shocked to realize that depending upon their body's rate of absorption and other physical and/or clinical factors, it is highly plausible for an individual to have a blood alcohol content/concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, several hours since their having their last drink.
If you or someone you know has recently been charged and/or arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in or around Visalia, California, there are various circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest your attorney might choose to challenge depending upon your best interest. After investigating every aspect of your arrest, your California DUI attorney might choose to challenge probable cause, blood alcohol content (BAC) results, or perhaps even any of your rights that may have been violated during your arrest and detainment.
Many California DUI defendants forego trial and plead guilty to their charges as a result of their belief in the accuracy and validity of the California DUI breath test result.
Quite often, human error on the part of the medical professional can quickly render any DUI blood test BAC result inaccurate, unreliable, and inadmissible as evidence. Improper handling of the sample, collecting or storing the sample in an unsanitary or inadequately sanitized container, and perhaps even the allowing of foreign substances to enter into the testing area causing cross-contamination consistently creates issues with the reliability of DUI blood test all throughout California.
Considering the possible implications of a Marijuana DUI conviction such as jail-time, driving license suspension, and a criminal record, it's prudent to secure a Visalia DUI with an accident lawyer to attain the best possible defense. A competent and experienced criminal attorney can have charges dropped, help work out a plea bargain or even secure a temporary driving license.
Do you have questions about a case? Visalia and Bakersfield area criminal defense attorneys at Martens Law Firm can assist you with criminal charges. With years of criminal defense experience, our firm has handled thousands of cases. Attorneys here have the skills and knowledge needed to defend your rights. Serving the Visalia, Fresno, and Bakersfield areas, Martens Law Firm can provide expert criminal defense counsel. CONTACT US AT 559-302-9722 OR 661-466-2142 TODAY