Felony Driving Offenses
Felony traffic offenses are the most serious type of traffic offenses carrying severe punishment including years in state prison. These offenses are criminal in nature and carry the potential of at least one (1) year of incarceration, with the potential for even life imprisonment. The most common felony traffic violations include the following:
Caught with Hit-and-Run Causing Injury or Death?
Under California Vehicle Code 20001 – 20004, it is unlawful to leave the scene of an accident without first identifying yourself to the other people involved. If someone is injured or killed in the accident and you leave the scene, you face custodial time, license suspension or revocation a felony case.
A felony conviction for a hit-and-run causing injury or death is punishable by:
Two, three or four years is state prison or up to one year in county jail;
A maximum 10,000 fine; and/or
Suspension of your license for one year (CVC 13350(a)(3)).
Our clients have avoided felony convictions when we have demonstrated
1) Our client had no knowledge of any injury/death or, no knowledge of accident. Often, an injury isn’t apparent until well after an accident occurs.
2) Our client was unable to provide reasonable assistance.
Caught with DUI Causing Injury or Death?
If you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury under VC 23153(a), the prosecution must prove that you drove a vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug or a combination of both. The State must also prove that when you drove, you also committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty; AND your illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty caused bodily injury to another person.
You are considered to be “driving under the influence” if your physical abilities are so impaired by an alcoholic beverage or a drug that you cannot operate motor vehicle with the same ordinary care as a sober, prudent person.
The driver can also charged with driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more causing injury under VC 23153(b). The prosecution must prove when at the time of driving, the driver’s BAC was 0.08% or higher and the same elements of proof required under Section 23152(a). If your BAC is 0.08% or greater at the time a chemical test is performed within 3 hours of your driving, a rebuttable presumption exists that you had a BAC of 0.08% or greater at the time of driving. Our attorneys have won many cases by demonstrating that the blood or breath test was not collected with the 3 hour period. They have also achieved victories in these cases because the cause of the accident could not be attributed to their clients or the state failed to prove our client was the driver.
You can also be charged with felony DUI if you are arrested for a fourth DUI offense within a 10 year period.
If you are convicted of a first-time DUI causing injury as a misdemeanor you face up to 364 days in county jail and fines of in excess of $2,000. Additionally, your driver’s license could be suspended for up to one year. Felony DUI causing injury carries up to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Your license could be revoked for up to five years for a felony DUI causing injury conviction.
Our attorneys know the strongest defenses to beat a VC 23153(a) or a VC 23153(b) charge.
Caught with a felony evasion charge?
Under California Vehicle Code section 2800.2, it is unlawful, while operating a motor vehicle, to flee or elude a police officer in a motor vehicle with the intent to evade, and in doing so, driving your vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Evasion under VC 2800.2 can be prosecuted as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the aggravating circumstances in the case. Evasion carries 2 points on the driver’s DMV driving record. As a felony, a prison sentence is possible for 16 months, 2 or 3 years.
Our evasion lawyers have been successful in defending these cases by demonstrating the driver did not intend to evade an officer or the evidence was insufficient to prove the driver drove recklessly. Favorable results came from defenses based on the illegality of the initial traffic stop or that the driver had good cause to escape possible harm.
Caught with a felony reckless driving charge?
California Vehicle Code section 23105 allows a criminal court to impose severe penalties for reckless driving offenses that involve any of the injuries listed in the section 23105 such as concussions, loss of consciousness, bone fractures, brain injuries, and paralysis. If punished as a felony, the driver faces 16 months to three years in prison. Our felony reckless driving lawyers have been successful in reducing felony reckless driving charges to misdemeanors to reduce the impact of the conviction such as jail and suspension of driving privileges. Many times our reckless driving lawyers win favorable results by demonstrating that our clients’ driving was situational or caused by unavoidable circumstances and not a desire to endanger the public or other motorists.
Caught with a “road rage “charge?
“Road rage” is when a motorist shows aggressive behavior towards other drivers or pedestrians. The cases we defend are usually based on accusations made by other motorists or pedestrians that our client was driving dangerously towards another driver to intimidate him or her. The charges can be filed as reckless driving – VC 23103; and/or assault with a deadly weapon – Penal Code section 245(a)(1). Using a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon can result in the revocation of a driver’s license for life. In less aggravated cases the suspension is for six months for a first offense and one year for a second or subsequent offense. (See Vehicle Code section 13210.)
TicketWarrior lawyers have successfully challenged DMV decisions to suspend a license for road rage in DMV administrative hearings.