Charges for a DUI with Hit and Run in Orange County

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In Orange County and all of California, the legal ramifications for both DUI and Hit-and-Run offenses are heavy. Each offense carries substantial consequences on its own, but when combined, the situation demands the expertise of seasoned DUI defense attorneys in Orange County.

Even for a first-time DUI offender, the aftermath can be life-altering. A misdemeanor DUI conviction entails hefty fines, loss of driving privileges, extended probation periods, and a potential jail sentence of up to six months. Similarly, Hit-and-Run incidents, where a driver flees the scene of an accident, result in misdemeanor charges with penalties including fines, prolonged probation, and a maximum jail term of six months. However, if a DUI Hit-and-Run involves severe injuries, the convicted individual could face several years in state prison.

When a driver, impaired by alcohol or drugs, causes an accident and then flees without identifying themselves, the legal penalties escalate significantly. Moreover, if there are aggravating factors involved, the severity of the consequences only intensifies, making expert legal representation crucial.

  • If a DUI involves an accident where someone other than the driver sustains injuries, there’s a mandatory minimum 5-day jail term.
  • A DUI-related accident causing serious injury to someone other than the driver can lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in state prison per seriously injured victim upon conviction.
  • DUI Manslaughter, resulting from an accident causing someone’s death, may lead to a prison term of six years or more.
  • Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated could result in a convicted driver facing up to 10 years in prison.

DUI Hit-and-Run Definition

A DUI Hit-and-Run intertwines two distinct offenses, each carrying its own set of penalties. However, when these charges are combined, the severity escalates rapidly, particularly in cases where someone other than the driver suffers serious injury or death.

In order to secure a conviction for DUI under California law, the state must establish the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The individual in question was operating a motor vehicle, and
  • While operating the vehicle, the driver
    a) registered a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or
    b) experienced impairment of their physical or mental faculties due to alcohol or drugs to a degree where they could no longer drive as safely as a prudent sober individual.

In order to convict a driver of a Hit-and-Run offense, California law necessitates evidence beyond a reasonable doubt regarding the following aspects:

  • The individual was operating a vehicle and was engaged in an accident,
  • The accident resulted in property damage,
  • The individual knew or reasonably should have known that the accident caused damage,
  • The individual intentionally failed to stop or provide identification information.

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Orange County with Serious Injury or Death

Fleeing from the scene of an accident, known as a Hit-and-Run, constitutes a criminal offense for several reasons. Among the primary reasons are ensuring drivers take accountability for their financial obligations and mandating drivers to provide aid or summon emergency medical assistance for anyone harmed in the accident.

Regrettably, following DUI-related accidents, many impaired drivers come to realize the gravity of their actions. Driven by the fear of facing consequences associated with a DUI conviction, they opt to flee the scene. However, it’s crucial to recognize that individuals injured in such accidents often require immediate medical attention. When drivers depart the scene, seriously injured victims are sometimes left without vital medical intervention, leading to tragic outcomes.

These considerations typically drive prosecutors to exert exceptional efforts in prosecuting defendants charged with DUI Hit-and-Run offenses.

DUI with Hit and Run Penalties in Orange County

In Orange County, penalties for DUI Hit-and-Run cases encompass a broad spectrum due to the varying degrees of each offense, which entail minimum fines, possible jail time, license suspensions, and extended periods of probation. However, in instances where a DUI Hit-and-Run results in a fatality, and the driver has a prior DUI record while driving recklessly during the current accident, the possibility of facing charges for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated becomes imminent, exacerbated by fleeing the scene. In such circumstances, the driver could potentially face decades behind bars.

Considering the potential for significant enhancements and additional criminal charges in more severe cases, typical scenarios entail the following penalties:

  • Fines ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, contingent upon the presence of any of the following circumstances:
    1. Blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeding 0.08 or 0.2, or refusal to undergo chemical testing
    2. Presence of a child in the vehicle
    3. Property damage resulting from the accident
    4. Occurrence of serious personal injury or death of another individual
    5. Whether it’s the first offense or subsequent offense
    6. Existence of a prior criminal record
  • Potential imprisonment for up to 6 months in cases where the accident solely involves property damage, classified as misdemeanor hit and run.
  • Probation duration ranging between 3 and 5 years.
  • Maximum imprisonment of up to 1 year if the accident results in minor injuries.
  • Sentence of between 2 and 4 years in state prison if the accident causes serious injury or death.
  • Suspension of driving privileges for a duration spanning between 1 and 3 years.

Experienced DUI Hit and Run Defense Lawyer in Orange County

When facing charges of DUI Hit-and-Run in Orange County, your best chance at mitigating severe penalties lies in securing the services of a proficient DUI and hit-and-run defense lawyer. Hart Levin and his team of seasoned professionals have garnered widespread acclaim as the foremost Orange County DUI defense team, thanks to their track record of successfully handling numerous DUI and Hit-and-Run cases. Renowned as the epitome of excellence in DUI defense, we set the standard in Orange County and all of California.

Why Hire The Law Offices of Hart J. Levin

If you find yourself facing charges of DUI, Hit-and-Run, or a combination of both, it’s imperative to have representation from one of Orange County’s most seasoned DUI defense attorneys. Conviction is only possible if the prosecution can conclusively prove the specifics of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Attorney Hart Levin and his team leverage their extensive expertise in Orange County DUI Hit-and-Run laws and criminal court procedures to shield clients from convictions. By meticulously scrutinizing the details of each case, they pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence to safeguard their clients’ rights.

  • Is there sufficient evidence for the prosecutor to establish that you were behind the wheel at the moment of the accident?
  • Was there genuinely justifiable cause for your arrest?
  • What methods can be employed to demonstrate the impairment of the driver due to alcohol or drugs?
  • Is there potential for reducing charges if the purported injuries are found to be less severe than initially asserted?
  • Was the accident of such insignificance that the driver may not have been aware of, or should not have been expected to be aware of, any collision occurring?
  • Were field sobriety tests conducted during the DUI arrest, and were they administered in adherence to the required protocols?
  • Was there a valid justification for leaving the scene, such as concerns for personal safety due to threats from the other party?

Should the prosecution fall short in proving any essential element beyond a reasonable doubt, the charge is incapable of resulting in a conviction. Experienced and assertive defense attorneys in Orange County employ pretrial negotiations and motions to suppress evidence, ensuring their clients gain every possible advantage.

Get the Highest Rated DUI and Hit-and-Run Defense Lawyers in Orange County. Contact The Law Offices of Hart J. Levin Now.

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