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Felony DUI | VC 23153

Felony DUI | VC 23153

Felony DUI | LA Drunk Driving Attorneys

Most DUI arrests in Los Angeles are prosecuted as misdemeanors under California Vehicle Code section 23152. However, even a first offense DUI can be charged as a felony if your drunk driving arrest involves a collision resulting in serious injuries. Commonly referred to as Felony DUI, drunk driving arrests involving aggravating circumstances, such as causing an accident resulting in injuries to another or committing your 4th DUI offense or more within the last 10 years of your first conviction is prosecuted under the following 2 sections of the California Vehicle Code:

VC 23153(a)

It is unlawful for a person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

VC 23153(b)

It is unlawful for a person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

If you have been arrested for a DUI with injury in Los Angeles, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Los Angeles drunk driving attorney with expertise in defending Felony DUI and DUI with injury charges in both the criminal courts and DMV Driver Safety Offices. Since 1987, LA criminal defense lawyers Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff have specialized in defending misdemeanor and Felony DUI charges in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Mr. Takakjian is a former senior prosecutor and California Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Mr. Sitkoff is a former senior prosecutor and former Superior Court Commissioner. Collectively, our Los Angeles DUI defense firm possesses over 70 years of combined criminal and DUI trial experience. Call our office West LA office now at (888) 579-4844 for a free consultation to learn what your defense options are and how we can help.

Is DUI With Injury A Felony Or Misdemeanor In Los Angeles?

DUI with injury is considered a “wobbler” offense in California. Therefore, DUI charges prosecuted under VC 23153(a) and VC 23153(b) can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the degree of bodily injury sustained by the victim. Conversely, a DUI causing a non-traumatic injury would likely be charged as a misdemeanor DUI with injury. Drunk driving offenses involving both minor and serious bodily injury are pursued aggressively by Los Angeles prosecutors, and the consequences are especially severe if you are facing Felony DUI charges.

Los Angeles DUI With Injury Penalties

The sentencing you face if charged with VC 23153(a) and VC 23153 (b) is influenced by several factors, most notably whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI with injury. As a wobbler offense, a felony DUI can be reduced to a misdemeanor by way of plea negotitations, and in some circumstances, negotiated down even lower to the non-injury misdemeanor DUI statute, VC 23152. The following are the potential penalties you face if convicted of a first offense DUI with injury in LA:

As A Misdemeanor:

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail
  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • Informal (unsupervised) or Formal (supervised) probation for up to five years
  • Alcohol and/or drug education program
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • 2 points on DMV Record
  • Complete Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) victims impact panel
  • Complete Hospital and Morgue (HAM) program
  • Community service or labor

As A Felony:

  • Up to 4 year in California State Prison
  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • Formal (supervised) probation for up to five years
  • Alcohol and/or drug education program
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • 2 points on DMV Record
  • Complete Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) victims impact panel
  • Complete Hospital and Morgue (HAM) program
  • Community service or labor
  • Felony strike under California 3 Strikes Law

In addition to the criminal sentence, a felony conviction can result in other losses of liberties. Even after you complete your sentence, a felony conviction would mean:

  • Loss of voting rights
  • Loss of gun ownership rights
  • Immigration consequences such as deportation or denial of citizenship
  • Loss of present or future employment
  • Loss of professional license
  • Habitual Traffic Offender status

Call Our Los Angeles Felony DUI Attorneys Now For A Free Case Review

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony DUI with injury, do not delay and contact us now at (310) 312-8055 for a free consultation to discuss your case and options at our main office in West Los Angeles, or our satellite office locations in Torrance, Pasadena, Glendale, Long Beach, Encino, Woodland Hills, West Covina, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach.