Can I be charge with CVC 23153(a) VC “DUI causing injury,”, even if nobody was injured ?

Asked 10 months ago - Concord, CA

Can I be charge with CVC 23153(a) VC “DUI causing injury,”, even if nobody was injured ? As my understanding:
the prosecutor must prove three facts (otherwise known as “elements of the crime”):2
- (1) you drove while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,
(no alcohol involved, test is negative, but I admit I took "ecstasy" 3 hours ago)
- (2) while driving, you broke a law (in addition to driving under the influence) or acted in an otherwise negligent manner while driving
(my speed was ~100 ph with 3 friends inside the car on empty freeway at 1 am, coming back from dance club)
- (3) that your unlawful act or negligence injured another person.
(so nobody been injured)

Attorney answers (11)

  1. Ginny Harjot Kaur Walia

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    18

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . The simple answer is that CVC 23153(a) cannot be charged if there is no injury to anyone. However, law defines the injury broadly. Injuries including back sprains, whip lashes can be enough.

    Next, you should not admit to facts such as driving under the influence of ecstasy on a public site. You give enough facts to distinguish your case from others where such admissions could be used against you in a court of law. Call experienced DUI defense lawyers for a free consultation!

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
  2. Harry Edward Hudson Jr

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In my experience, one can be charged with most anything and DAs d sometimes file allegations that they cannot prove. If you are being charged, hire counsel if you can afford to do so. Ms. Walia seems to know the answers and is reasonably nearby.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client... more
  3. Joshua Kaizuka

    Contributor Level 16

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What a DA charges by filing a complaint is different from what an individual can lawfully be convicted of. DA's will often just look at the police report and the recommendations made by the officer who wrote the report. While I agree with my colleagues that the definition of "injury" may be broad and can include pain of some sort, the best thing to do is to consult an experienced DUI attorney in the are where the arrest occurred. A cop may write in a report that someone said they had pain or a scratch and make it more that it really is. Those type of cases can resolve for a standard DUI or better depending on the facts. More importantly, do not post any more facts here since it is a public forum. Good Luck!

  4. Peter John Marek

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . No. DA's do however make mistakes when filing.

  5. Daniel M. Fox

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The simple answer is "no." You can't have DUI injury without an injury. And, the driver, through his or her actions, must be the proximate cause of the injury.

    Rather peculiar that someone would charge you with 23153 without an injury. It may in fact just be a clerical mistake. (One that will quickly be remedied when it is noticed.)

  6. Michael Stewart Phillips

    Contributor Level 14

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . [removed]

  7. Victoria L Clemans

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Oftentimes the client's version of the story is different from law enforcement. I wouldn't be surprised if an injury popped up on the discovery (police report and so forth). In any event, this is a serious matter and you need an attorney! You are correct in that the Pros. has the burden of proving each and every element of the crime. LAW OFFICES OF VICTORIA CLEMANS

    This is a general statement regarding law and facts and should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship... more
  8. Jason Chase Beahm

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. However, that doesn't mean that the charges will stick.

    If the DA is charging you with 23153(a), my guess is that they have read the police report and believe that there was in fact an injury.

    These are serious charges and I strongly advise you to retain experienced counsel.

  9. Kim C. Wollenberg Burgess

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The police often overcharge cases when they arrest someone. The DA makes the decision on what to charge after they review the evidence. From what you described you can be charged with23152a - drugs with a high speed enhancement. The DA in Contra Costa County is very aggressive in their DUI prosecutions. A lot will depend on what the analysis of your blood shows.
    Be aware that they may not have your case filed by the date they gave you on the notice. Be sure to get a verification if they do not have the case filed.

  10. James Nelson Dicks

    Contributor Level 5

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There must be an injury

  11. Robert Louis Miller

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Thank you for your question. As you've correctly surmised, the law requires that the act has "injured another person". If nobody was injured, (and that's people, not property), then any charge of VC 23153(a) or (b) would be improper.

    All the best,
    Robert Miller

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