DUI with Accident: Navigating Legal Challenges and Protecting Your Rights


Introduction DUI with accident

DUI with accident is serious, depending on the manner of the accidents and the placement of the collision. Fault is usually not an issue, as police officers assign fault to whoever was driving with the substance in their blood. In Orange County, California, the Orange County District Attorney aggressively pursues jail time for DUI with accidents. However, this does not guarantee jail time. As the case unfolds, there is room for movement depending on the extent of injury and damage.

It’s important that if you are facing a DUI with an accident, you have a capable DUI attorney providing legal representation for your case. Having an experienced DUI attorney can mean the difference between serving jail time or doing community service.

What Constitutes a DUI with Accident?

 Usually, with DUI involving accidents, there is property damage. The property damage results from someone driving under the influence of alcohol and sometimes involves minor injuries. If the injuries are minor enough, then it will only be a DUI with an accident, involving a collision and property damage only. This type of drunk driving accident carries much lighter criminal penalties than a DUI with injury or DUI with great bodily injury.

Penalties for a DUI with Accident and No Injury.

The maximum penalty for a DUI with an accident is one year in jail and a $1000 fine. There are factors that come into play when determining the penalties for a DUI with accidents, but some of the more important ones include the blood alcohol level and the extent of injury to the other party. A well-seasoned defense attorney in the courthouse will know how to navigate this case.

Legal Consequences of a DUI with Accident

The long-term implications of a DUI with an accident include a criminal record and impact on the driver’s license. The impact on the criminal record means that the conviction stays on a person’s criminal record indefinitely unless it is expunged. The impact on the driver’s license means it is assessed as two points for the DUI for a period of 10 years. This is relevant for insurance purposes, as insurance companies will rate you as having a DUI for at least 10 years.

Criminal Penalties of a DUI with Accident

Additionally, you may face potential jail time, fines, and criminal charges. In Orange County, California, the typical jail time requested by the District Attorney for a DUI with accidents and no injury is between 10 to 20 days. However, the District Attorney’s Office and their deputies are open to negotiation, potentially compromising to some type of Caltrans work, which involves picking up trash on the side of the freeway. Depending on the circumstances, there may also be room to move this into some type of community service.

Other legal consequences for a DUI with accidents involve sanctions or administrative penalties on a person’s California driver’s license, potentially resulting in a license suspension, followed by a restricted license if you follow the right steps.

Does Your DUI with Accident Involve Injury?

In a nutshell, the biggest factor that comes into play when determining penalties for a DUI with accidents is whether or not it involves minor injuries. If a case involves minor injuries, then there is room for movement for the drunk driver.

Other Reasons Why You Need an Attorney for a DUI with accident

DUI cases with an accident are complex. There are issues underlying these cases that are not present in a regular DUI case. One common scenario is where the person driving under the influence may not be at fault, such as when they are rear-ended while stopped at a red light. Despite this, they are still charged with a DUI with an accident and presumed to be at fault.

Another complexity in DUI with accident cases involves dealing with insurance companies, which often heavily rely on police reports. It’s important that your attorney is familiar with successful DUI defenses. These reports frequently conclude that the person was at fault because they were driving under the influence. However, this may not always be the case, as in the example of a person under the influence at a stop sign being rear-ended.

Otherwise, one way an attorney can help is by ensuring your right to have your voice heard in a restitution hearing. Oftentimes, when a person is accused of being an impaired driver, the accusing person will bootstrap his medical expenses and exaggerate medical bills. They do this in the hopes that severe penalties will be imposed on the defendants if they do not pay up. By having counsel on your side, you have the right to dispute the amount of damage at the restitution hearing.

In addition, other rights that are in jeopardy include the presumption of innocence and whether or not the prosecution can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They may run afoul of this by charging a felony by filing the complaint as felony charges, when it’s only a DUI with injury as opposed to a DUI with great bodily injury, which carries harsher penalties.

A DUI with felony injuries involves prison time. However, many of these cases involve lighter injuries. At the end of the day, many cases are charged as felonies when they are merely automobile accidents with a DUI, which is a much lesser offense. In many cases, these felony charges can be reduced to a misdemeanor or just a DUI with injury

How an Attorney Can Help in a DUI with Accident Case

When dealing with a DUI with an accident, it’s important that the APS hearing is handled within 10 days of the arrest. This is crucial because failure to set a DMV APS hearing will result in a license suspension within 30 days if your case involved alcohol. Additionally, it’s important to have the arraignment date written down on a calendar. Missing the arraignment date can result in a warrant for your arrest, and you will be considered a fugitive.

In court, an attorney can assist by negotiating the plea deal. It’s important to remember where the DA’s starting point is in these cases. The Orange County District Attorney typically starts with 10 to 15 days in jail for a first DUI with an accident. A competent attorney can often reduce this to some kind of Caltrans work or even community service, ensuring you receive the correct representation in court to minimize the damage from a DUI with an accident case.

If you’re accused of being a drunk driver and failing a sobriety test, then you are facing punitive damages from the court, regardless of your intoxication level. The Orange County District Attorney will pursue criminal consequences based on the fact that there was a drunk driving crash. A defense attorney can work towards a favorable plea bargain in your case. Additionally, they can represent you at the restitution hearing if the victims believe they have won the lottery in the case and are asking for thousands of dollars.

It’s important that you contact our law office today to inquire about anything you’re curious about and have your own case analyzed to see how your DUI with accident fits into the legal process. During the consultation, you will be asked if there was actual injury to the person or the victim, or if they were just standing around. You will also be asked if you spent any time in county jail.

This is for the purpose of getting you credits on the jail time. Furthermore, we will be looking for every reason to give you the minimum sentence possible. At the end of the day, if your insurance can cover the damage to property and we can get you into some kind of court-approved treatment program or alcohol treatment program

Understanding Your Rights

If you are charged with a DUI with an accident, you have rights in court during the pretrial process. These include the right to present evidence on your behalf, the right to cross-examine the police officer, and the right to remain silent if you wish. Additionally, the state must prove that you had a DUI with an accident beyond a reasonable doubt. They can do this by showing that you drove under the influence or had a blood alcohol content over 0.08 at the time of the accident. It’s important to know what to discuss with the prosecutor while litigating your case. There is a bargaining disparity when handling the case yourself due to a lack of baseline knowledge. Although a deal may sound good on paper, it may not be the best you can get. Having an attorney who regularly appears in the courthouse and understands what constitutes a good deal is invaluable.

Steps to Take Immediately After a DUI with Accident

After a DUI with an accident, it’s important not to discuss fault at the scene. The most you should do is exchange insurance information. Additionally, seek medical help as soon as possible and do not leave the scene to avoid being charged with a hit-and-run. Contacting an attorney during this time is also crucial. You should take the necessary step to contact the Orange Driver Safety Office, if your case is in Orange County, to set your DMV hearing. Alternatively, if you have an attorney, they can do this for you. Another important step is to write down the arraignment date on the calendar and ensure you do not miss that first court date. If you have an attorney, they can attend this court date on your behalf.

Contact Information and Consultation Offer

Our office offers a free initial consultation for potential clients involved in a DUI with an accident. You are welcome to give our office a call by using the button above, or you can also shoot us a text at the number at the top of this website.

What are the specific legal penalties for a DUI with an accident in my state or region?

In Orange County, California, a DUI with accidents can lead to up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. However, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office typically seeks between 10 to 20 days in jail for a first DUI with accidents. This is the starting point, and the goal is to mitigate this, potentially reducing it to community service.

How does a DUI with an accident impact my driving record and insurance rates?

A DUI with an accident will impact your driving record, adding two points that stay on for 10 years. Insurance companies will use this to determine your premiums.

What are my rights when I’m charged with a DUI with an accident?

Your rights come into play whenever there is contact with a police officer. Like in all criminal law matters, you have the right to an attorney and the right not to talk with an officer. You also have the right to remain silent. In court, you can use subpoena power to face your accusers, and you have the right to cross-examine them.

How can an attorney specifically help in reducing the charges or penalties in a DUI with an accident case?

An attorney can help reduce charges or penalties in a DUI with an accident case by negotiating with the prosecutor. An experienced attorney will know the prosecutor’s limits, the temperament of the judges, and how far they can push in advocating for you. They will also know if a District Attorney is asking too much in your case.

Are there alternative sentencing options available for DUI with accident cases, such as community service?

Community service is a possible alternative sentence in a DUI with an accident case.

What steps should I take immediately following a DUI with an accident to protect my rights?

To protect your rights in a DUI with an accident case, it’s important to know two key deadlines. The first is for the DMV APS hearing, especially in Orange County at the Orange Driver Safety Office. The second is the arraignment date, which could be at the Fullerton, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, or Westminster Courthouses. It’s crucial to attend the arraignment dates, as failing to do so can lead to an arrest warrant being issued in your name.

How does a DUI with an accident differ from a standard DUI charge?

A DUI with an accident carries additional penalties, depending on the injuries and the number of cars involved. The manner of the accident, such as rear-end collisions versus wrong-way freeway incidents, will also be considered.

What are the long-term implications of a DUI with an accident on my criminal record?

The long-term implications of a DUI with an accident on your criminal record include missed job opportunities and the requirement to disclose convictions when applying for positions involving work with children.

How can I prepare for my initial consultation with a DUI attorney regarding my accident case?

The best way to prepare for an initial consultation with a DUI attorney is to write down all your questions beforehand. Queue up your questions before meeting your attorney so you can make the best use of time during the consultation.


Contacting a skilled attorney for your DUI with an accident is crucial. The stakes in these types of cases are high, involving potential jail time and significant fines. However, it’s also important that you are not taken advantage of in court. What’s done is done, but it’s crucial to minimize the damage from your DUI with an accident and make it through the case in one piece. This means resolving the case by staying out of jail and minimizing the sanctions you have to face. Ultimately, you will want to expunge the case and remove it from your criminal record.

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Hand down the best attorney I have ever worked with!!! My friend recommended Hieu because I needed to expunge something I did when I was young and dumb. Hieu is very humble, personable, and made me feel very comfortable. He's surprisingly funny too. Something not all lawyers are / can do. His pricing is very reasonable and he updated me on everything frequently. I highly recommend him!!!!

Lila K

I had interviewed many attorneys to discuss my very unfortunate situation that was set by someone I knew. Hieu Vu was the most honest, caring, and professional attorney with compassion and empathy I ever interviewed. HE REALLY HAD A HEART. His fees were very reasonable and he will fight for you not just for your dollars but because he cares for his clients... I would strongly recommend him if you feel your life is upside down. Things happen but we learn to become better person.

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