Is It Possible To Get A Reduced Charge For A DUI That Caused Injury In Marin County?
Yes, it is possible to get a reduced charge for a DUI with injuries in Marin County. Fighting for reduced charges is one of a DUI lawyer’s main jobs.
Our first responsibility as DUI attorneys is to see if we can get a case dismissed or diverted. If that is not possible, we need to secure our client’s right to demand a jury trial—a constitutional right which should be taken very seriously.
However, going straight for a jury trial is not always the best move for our clients.
A DUI with injury can be a tough case to put in front of a jury because the damages can be substantial. Instead, what an experienced DUI attorney in Marin County might opt to do is to negotiate with the Prosecutor’s Office (and the DA or the ADA who has the case) for the best result we can get. At that point, we can bring whatever deal we negotiate back to our client and present their options to them. The client gets to make the decision on whether or not to take that deal or go to a jury trial.
Through this negotiation process (and sometimes through expert handling of jury cases), we can often get charges reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, and we can sometimes get misdemeanors with injuries reduced to misdemeanors without injuries. It all depends on the severity of the injuries, the details of the accident, and the person’s record.
If the charge is already a misdemeanor, what we are usually talking about when we talk about reduced charges is potentially getting a diversion.
Diversion for DUI charges became an option in Marin County in 2021, under Penal Code Section 1001.95. Usually, we will only try for diversion on DUI cases with injury where the injury involved is rather minor.
I have yet to see the Court in Marin County (or elsewhere) grant diversion for more substantial injuries, and I do not know if they ever will. However, diversion is still a viable option in Marin County for some DUI cases with minor injuries.
I Was Arrested For An Accident In Which Multiple People Were Injured. Will I Be Charged Separately For Each Person That Was Injured?
When it comes to DUIs that injured multiple people in Marin County, the way you will be charged depends on a number of factors.
These factors include how severe the injuries were, as well as your past record (whether you have prior DUIs, and if so, when they occurred, and how many times), and issues like the degree to which you were intoxicated/incapacitated.
The District Attorney’s Office has the ability and capacity to charge DUIs with injuries as felonies, and they often do if the injuries are substantial enough (and sometimes when other details of the case tip it over into felony territory). If the DUI with injury is charged as a felony, then they can issue separate additional charges (“enhancements”) of up to one year each for up to three people who were injured, for an additional potential sentencing of three years.
Unfortunately, depending on the severity of the injuries, you could be facing a lot more than just three one-year additional charges.
Can A DUI Marin County Attorney Help Me With My DUI Case Where Injuries Were Involved?
A Marin County DUI Attorney can absolutely help with your DUI case, even and especially if injuries were involved.
With these cases, it is essential to get the help of a specialist attorney with current experience working with DUIs with injuries in the Marin County/San Francisco Bay Area. Depending on the details of the case, you could be facing very serious penalties, including potential state prison or county jail time.
To be clear: in DUI cases with injuries, you absolutely need a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you need to get a public defender to represent you.
An experienced DUI lawyer is necessary to investigate and properly fight the case, as well as to check that all procedures are and have been properly followed and valid. They know how to look at video evidence, including CCTV and body camera videos, and can access otherwise inaccessible or difficult-to-access pieces of evidence regarding blood draws and field sobriety testing. In addition, they know how to read reports and make them work for your case. They are also connected to a network of expert witnesses, which are professionals that can be hired to challenge the evidence and case against you. This may include ex-police officers, forensic toxicologists, medical doctors, blood draw experts, construction and crash physics experts, to name only a few.
There are all sorts of things that we can do as DUI attorneys if you’ve been charged with a DUI with injury. However, you have to take the first step in finding and hiring the best DUI attorney possible.
For more information on Reduced Charges For A Drunk Driving Accident, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 886-6333 today.