What Is A DUI Hit And Run?
A hit and run accident commonly occurs when a driver is DUI. A DUI can be charged when the driver is either over the legal limit of 0.08% (Vehicle Code 23152(b)), or when the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs to the point they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle (Vehicle Code 23152(a)). A hit and run occurs when the driver is involved in an accident and leaves the scene without stopping to provide their information. (Vehicle Code 20002). Both charges are typically misdemeanors. However, if the driver has three or more DUI convictions within the previous ten years, then the DUI becomes a felony. Felony DUI is also charged if someone other than the defendant is injured in an accident.
Likewise, a hit and run is a misdemeanor charge if only property is damaged. But the hit and run will be charged as a felony if someone other than the defendant is injured in the accident. (Vehicle Code 20001)
What Is The Punishment For A DUI Hit And Run?
A first-offense DUI is punishable by up to six-months in the Orange County Jail. A misdemeanor hit and run can draw up to a year in jail. The actual punishment for a first-offense DUI hit and run will likely depend on the circumstances of your case and the skill and experience of your DUI lawyer. A felony DUI is punishable by up to three years in the state prison. Likewise, a felony hit and run can also draw up to three years in prison. A second or third offense DUI with a hit and run will likely result in three to ten months of jail time. Again, this depends on the facts of your case and the skill and experience of your DUI attorney.
Alternatives To Jail For DUI Hit And Run
Often, a seasoned DUI lawyer can secure some sort of alternative to actual jail time for a DUI hit and run. The alternatives range from house arrest (work is allowed), weekend jail time, private jail, CalTrans work, community service, and residential or outpatient drug or alcohol treatment. It is up to your DUI attorney to propose an alternative sentence and to convince a judge to allow it. That’s why it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney who regularly works with the judge handling your case.
Defenses For DUI Hit And Run
In order to convict you of DUI, the DA must prove that you were the one driving the vehicle. Sometimes, the circumstances of the case make this issue hazy. This can work to your favor. Moreover, the DA must prove that you were either over the legal limit or impaired. A “rising defense” is available when your blood-alcohol level is close to the legal limit. The blood or breath test is usually given some time AFTER the driving occurred. Since blood-alcohol level is constantly changing, your blood-alcohol level may have been below the legal limit at the time of driving.
As for a hit and run, again the DA must prove that you were driving. Also, the DA must prove that you knew you were involved in a collision. Often, an impaired driver will be involved in a minor collision and not even know it. Also, leaving the scene of a collision is not a crime unless damage occurred to someone else’s property.
Free Consultation With A DUI Lawyer
At The Law Office of EJ Stopyro we offer a free, no-obligation telephonic consultation and case review. Call us today at (949) 278-6353 to speak with an experienced DUI attorney about your case.