DUI causing bodily injury or death is a serious matter that could lead to a felony DUI conviction, depending on the circumstances of the accident. In these cases the prosecution will seek to prove that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or drugs (whether legal or illegal) at the time of the accident.
In DUI causing bodily injury or death cases you can be charged with felony DUI regardless of whether the victim was another driver, a passenger in another vehicle or your own, or a pedestrian. If you or a loved one were arrested and charged with DUI causing bodily injury or death, you need to contact an experienced Fresno DUI attorney immediately to discuss the details of your case.
For more information on DUI causing bodily injury you can reference the California DMV website and visit V C Section 23153 Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Causing Injury.
DUI causing bodily injury – Proving beyond a reasonable doubt
In DUI cases it is essential that the defendant is proven to have been under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the accident. If the driver was intoxicated and it is believed that the substance may have led to the accident, the defendant still has the opportunity to present a defense that another factor was actually the cause.
A recent case involving Stephanie Soza, a resident of Selma, California, can help demonstrate. Ms. Soza faces two counts of DUI causing bodily injury in an accident that resulted in the death of Joshua Timothy Paramore and Zachrey Michael Bardone. Ms. Soza claims to have swerved to miss a deer crossing the road which led to the fatal accident. Toxicology reports indicate that Ms. Soza had alcohol as well as legal and illegal drugs in her system which the prosecution is arguing led to her inability to safely operate the vehicle.
The prosecution will typically also seek to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant drove or was in control of the vehicle.
- While driving or in control of the vehicle the defendant was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol which impaired driving ability or had blood alcohol content above the legal limit.
- As a result of operating the vehicle the defendant caused or contributed to great bodily injury.
Felony drunk driving charges
As mentioned above cases involving DUI causing bodily injury will typically be filed under felony drunk driving charges. Felonies can lead to more strict legal consequences compared to misdemeanors. Those involved in felony DUI cases may also be subject to alcohol rehabilitation courses, loss of driving privileges, permanent charges on your record, and mandatory counseling.
Defenses to DUI charges
Felony DUI cases can be difficult to defend, especially in cases involving DUI causing bodily injury, however, it is to your advantage to contact a DUI defense attorney to assist you with your case. Some common DUI defenses include:
- Improper DUI testing
- Illegal traffic stop or arrest
- Insufficient evidence for arrest
Only an experienced DUI defense attorney can help guide you through your DUI causing bodily injury case and advise you on defenses and options available to you. If you or a loved one has been involved in a DUI causing great bodily injury accident, please contact The Law Office of Gregory W. Fox to confidentially discuss the details of your case at (559) 222-5800. In most instances an appointment can be scheduled for the same day.