There are a whole host of aggravating factors relating to a DUI in Los Angeles County. One of them is speed, particularly in either in a residential neighborhood or on the freeway, particularly when there are people around. Another is if you get into an accident.
If you are crashing into things or getting into accidents with people, you are obviously very unsafe to be driving. Next, having a high blood alcohol level.
The higher your blood alcohol level, the more dangerous you are and the more likely that the prosecutors and judge are going to send you to jail for a significant period of time.
Lastly, an aggravating factor is having multiple DUIs. If it's your second, third, or fourth DUI, you may be looking at a felony charge and prison time. A combination of aggravating factors would, of course, make the outlook for your case even worse.
What Is The Look Back Period For Prior DUI Convictions In California?
In Los Angeles, the look back period for DUI convictions is 10 years. They are going to look back at prior cases up to 10 years from the offense date. If you get a new DUI and you have a prior DUI conviction within the past 10 years, then it will become a second time DUI.
Obviously, the punishments for a second time DUI are much more substantial. For example, you will have to complete an 18-month alcohol program instead of a three-month alcohol program. There is also mandatory jail time with a second time DUI.
Charges for DUI Causing An Accident Involving Bodily Injuries
If there is a serious bodily injury caused by your DUI, you will be charged with a felony DUI and face up to three years in prison, along with a whole host of other punishments, including loss of your driver's license. Serious bodily injury is not to be confused with grave bodily injury.
There is a difference as it relates to a DUI. If you've caused grave bodily injury to a victim and you are driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles, that is a three-year enhancement tacked onto any sentence you get.
If you are charged with a felony DUI with a great bodily injury, you are facing three years for the DUI and then another three years for the grave bodily injury. You could end up serving six years in prison for that type of behavior.
Determining the difference between serious bodily injury and grave bodily injury can be a challenge. Broken bones are going to be in the realm of both the serious and grave bodily injury. Any type of disfigurement will be considered grave bodily injury.
However, there really is not a clear line as far as what a serious bodily injury is and what a grave bodily injury is, for purposes of a DUI.
Therefore, it is up to your DUI attorney to argue to keep you out of any type of an injury zone that will avoid severe enhancement of your charges.