5 Ways Your DUI Can Get Really Serious

California DUI Sentence Enhancements

 1. Excessive Speed

If you are convicted of violating California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153 while driving 30 or more miles per hour above the speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the speed limit on any other street in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23103 (reckless driving), you must be punished by an additional consecutive term of 60 days in the county jail.  If the court grants probation or suspends the execution of sentence, the court must require, as a condition of probation or suspension, that you serve 60 days in the county jail, in addition and consecutive to any other sentence prescribed by the Vehicle Code.

The court may not impose the additional term unless the facts of the reckless driving (and requisite driving over the speed limit) are charged in the accusatory pleading and are either admitted or found to be true by the trier of fact. The finding must be based on facts in addition to the fact that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or with a specified percentage of alcohol in your blood.  The court may not strike this enhancement except in unusual cases in which the interests of justice would be served.

  1. .15 Percent Blood-Alcohol Level

If you are convicted of violating California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153 and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 % or more, the court must consider this blood-alcohol level as a special factor that may justify the enhancement of penalties, denial probation, or imposition of enhanced terms or conditions of probation.

  1. Willful Refusal To Take Test

If, at the time of arrest for a first violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152, and the prosecutor proves you willfully refused to submit to or complete a chemical test, the court must also impose a county jail term for at least 48 continuous hours.  If your refusal occurred at the time of arrest for a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23153, or a second or subsequent violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152, your punishment must be enhanced by confinement in county jail from a minimum of 48 continuous hours to a maximum 18 days, depending on your number of prior DUI convictions, whether or not probation is granted.  No part of the jail term may be stayed, unless you have been sentenced to and incarcerated in state prison and execution of that sentence is not stayed.  In addition, the court must consider your refusal to take a chemical test as a special factor that may justify the enhancement of penalties, denial probation, or imposition of enhanced terms or conditions of probation.

  1. Passenger Under 14 Years of Age

If you are convicted of a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152 and a minor under age 14 was a passenger in your car at the time of the offense, the court must enhance the punishment from at least a minimum of 48 continuous hours to a maximum 90 days in county jail, depending on your number of prior convictions, whether or not probation is granted. No part of the jail term may be stayed. The driving of the vehicle in which the minor was a passenger must be pleaded and proved.   No enhancement may be imposed if you are also convicted of a violation of California Penal Code Section 273a (willful cruelty to child) arising out of the same facts and incident.

  1. Bodily Injury or Death to Multiple Victims

A defendant who proximately causes bodily injury or death to more than one victim while violating California Vehicle Code Section 23153 must, on conviction, be given an enhancement of one year in state prison for each additional victim, up to a maximum of three enhancements.

The court may strike the enhancements if it determines that there are circumstances in mitigation and states its reasons on the record. The court may not impose an enhanced sentence unless the fact of bodily injury to each additional victim is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted or found true by the trier of fact.

 

 

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