DUI cases include cases for under 21 drivers, commercial drivers, and regular class C license holders. They also include cases brought against out of state residents or out of state license holders and these cases present special challenges. Depending on the facts of the case, the same conduct of driving under the influence could result in a misdemeanor or a felony.
Common enhancements which can increase the potential sentence include any injuries sustained by anyone other than the person receiving the DUI, excessive speed, unlicensed driver, suspended license driver, hit and run, accident with property damage, and high blood alcohol level. Serious injuries can lead to vehicular manslaughter charges or even murder under the Watson rule.
Under California DUI laws, drivers facing DUI charges in California can be first time offenders or multiple offenders. Current sentencing law allows the prosecutor to allege a previous conviction as a prior if it occurred within a 10 year window.
Common plea bargains for DUI include reduced sentences such as reckless driving under VC 23103.5, commonly known as a “wet reckless”, a dry reckless per VC 23103, speed exhibitions, or moving violations.