Certain circumstances can add sentencing enhancements to a California DUI offense, including having children in the car at the time of the DUI arrest, (California Vehicle Code Section 23572 - Minor Passenger: Enhanced Penalty), speeding, California V.C. Section 23582 - Speeding: Additional Penalty, and being involved in an accident.
If the driver is convicted of being in violation of California V.C. Section 23152 - Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, additional penalties and sanctions can add considerably to the punishment. A California DUI defense attorney familiar with sentencing enhancements in DUI cases will outline the possible consequences and plan a strategic defense.
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In California, a DUI arrest that involves a traffic collision, particularly one that causes injury or death, will likely be charged as a felony, California V.C. Section 23153 - Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Causing Injury. If the sentencing enhancement of being involved in an accident is proven in conjunction with a felony DUI conviction, the driver faces 90 days to one year in jail in addition to any other punishment meted out.
Other factors can trigger additional sentencing enhancements, including prior DUIs, California V.C. Section 23550.5 - Penalties: Conviction Within 10 Years of Prior DUI Conviction, or driving under the influence (DUI) offenses that involve a death or multiple victims. If proven, each allegation carries substantial penalties. Some prosecutors are known for piling on sentence enhancements in drunk driving cases, so multiple enhancements are possible if supported by the facts of the case.
In DUI cases involving an accident, the driver may want to consider a plea bargain if one is offered. Drivers who plead guilty before their cases reach trial usually receive a negotiated punishment or reduced charges.
California DUI cases involving sentence enhancements can carry serious consequences that include jail time, fines, mandatory education programs, and probation. It is critical to have an experienced DUI defense attorney fighting on the driver's behalf. California DUI defense attorneys at the Law Office of Robert Tayac can develop an aggressive strategy to fight both the underlying charge of Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs and any sentencing enhancements.
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