DUI with Injury
California Vehicle Code section 23153 provides prohibition and punishment for misdemeanor and felony cases of drunk driving/ driving under the influence resulting in bodily injury to another. Misdemeanors threaten up to one year county jail; felonies pose in excess of three years state prison, with an additional one year imposed for each proven act of "great bodily injury" to the given victims.
CVC requires more than just an act of DUI and a co-incident injury. There must either be an act of legally negligent driving ("negligence"-- an act of neglected duty that proximately causes harm to another -- as would be the subject of a civil law suit) or an express violation of a Vehicle, Penal or Heath and Safety Code law, or both (speeding; illegal turns; under the influence drugs; hit and run; reckless driving). The negligent or law-violating act is called the "underlying offense," and it must be expressly pleaded (delineated) in the Prosecution's original charging documents for the VC23153 to be a valid action separate from the more common VC23152 (non-injury) misdemeanor.
Whether felony or misdemeanor (it can be charged as either/or), the VC23153 charge threatens an extended period of license suspension: one year, no driving (no restricted licence allowed) for the misdemeanor, 4 years, no driving for the felony. Fines up to $20,000.00 (felony), civil court monetary liability, extensive community service and insurance coverage loss are pending punishments additional to the incarceration.
Prosecutors have the discretion to reduce felonies to misdemeanors, and misdemeanors to infractions -- if they are give the motivation. Intimidation, in all truth, is not motivating to most modern prosecutors, despite the militant claims of the BigBazookaDUI types on the radio. If the Prosecutor loses a VC23153 trial, he merely loses a statistic ("Yes, The DA lost that one"). If you, the Defendant, lose a DUI injury case, you're looking at jail. At prison.
The only thing standing between you and the Prosecutor is your felony DUI defense attorney.
Do you really want to swim these waters alone?