Knowingly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or prescription medications is wrong. You know it. All California drivers know it. More importantly, prosecutors know it.
But if you drive DUI and THEN HURT SOMEONE in the process, you enter an entirely different (and more formidable) defense paradigm. In fact, in California, two separate vehicle code sections deal with injury and non-injury DUIs. California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 (a) and (b) spell out the definition of a non-injury DUI and describe its punishments. Typically, a non-injury DUI is a misdemeanor -- still a serious charge.
California Vehicle Code Sections 23153 (a) and (b), meanwhile, define injury DUI. All of a sudden, what normally would have been a misdemeanor gets charged as a felony. You can GET OVER A YEAR BEHIND BARS for every person you injured.
Of course, the penalties only become more intense, if you caused serious injury or death to other people. Other even more intense charges include vehicular manslaughter, gross vehicular manslaughter, and DUI murder (known as a Watson Murder.)
The bottom line is this: You face serious consequences, no matter what type of DUI charge you're up against. But if you hurt someone (or if prosecutors believe you hurt someone) while under the influence, you need to bring your “A game.” Fortunately, Christopher Martens can fight aggressively on your behalf, take your case to trial, and have it dismissed or at least get you an excellent outcome, based on the elements of your case.