A woman was arrested in Santa Ana for allegedly driving under the influence after striking a 10-year-old boy in an intersection.
The incident occurred at about 6:45pm on Sunday at the intersection of Cabrillo Park Drive and 17th Street. According to police, the boy was crossing the street with his brother when he was struck by a 2008 Ford F-150 that failed to stop at the light. The driver, a 33-year-old Santa Ana woman, remained at the scene and was arrested for felony DUI (driving under the influence).
The outcome of this arrest remains to be seen, but the driver is facing an extremely serious situation if she is charged with felony DUI. Driving under the influence causing injury may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense in under California Vehicle Code § 23153, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged act.
In the above incident, the boy was reported as suffering life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition. In light of this information, the woman may therefore be in danger of facing felony DUI causing injury charges. These charges and enhanced penalties may apply if a person suffers great bodily injury. A conviction could result in up to four years in prison, plus an additional three to six years for great bodily injury.
A case of this kind brings up an important issue related to DUI charges, namely those involving DUI causing injury. Being involved in an injury accident does not necessarily mean that a driver was "under the influence" of alcohol or drugs. This holds true even if the driver caused the accident. The prosecution will need to prove, beyond all doubt, that the driver not only caused the accident and the victim's injuries but was driving with an illegal blood alcohol concentration(BAC) of .08% or greater or while his or her abilities were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
The complexity of DUI causing injury charges and the penalties that may be enforced make the immediate involvement of an attorney of the utmost importance. If you were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after an auto accident and are interested in protecting your freedom and future, an Orange County DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry may be able to help you.
Our legal team represents Southern California drivers in the face of misdemeanor and felony DUI charges. We understand what defenses are likely to be viable in these cases and can offer aggressive counsel based on a client's unique needs. For more information and guidance related to your specific case, call our offices for a confidential case review.