Charged with a Felony DUI in Van Nuys. Crashed on the freeway. I was the only one injured. Passenger in my car was fine, No one else injured. Any chance of reducing to misdemeanor?

Question: Charged with a Felony DUI in Van Nuys.  I crashed my car on the freeway.  There was another car involved but they seemed to be fine.  I was the only one injured.  The passenger in my car was fine as well.  Any chance of reducing to misdemeanor?  And in the event it is a felony will I have to go to prison?

Answer: Usually DUI’s will only be charged as a felony if someone other than the driver being charged is injured, or if it is a 4th or more DUI offense in a 10 year span. Here, it doesn’t sound like the passenger or other parties in the 3rd party vehicle were really injured, so there is a chance that the prosecutor may only file it as a misdemeanor (assuming it wasn’t a 4th or more offense). Or in the alternative, if it is filed as a felony, a good DUI defense attorney in Van Nuys area may be able to get the charge down to a misdemeanor and go from there.

Either way, a DUI is a serious offense and you should contact a DUI Defense attorney in your area.  Even if it were originally filed as a misdemeanor because there were no other injuries, the prosecutor would likely be looking for a more serious penalty as compared to a less egregious DUI since there was an accident with another vehicle involved.  Further, when there is a DUI with car accident, there is what is called a “Restitution” hearing.  This is to ensure that the victim who had personal or property injury, or both, is compensated and not out of pocket financially.

Often in DUI with Accident cases the insurance company will get involved if there is one.  It is important to contact your DUI attorney as soon as possible as the accident brings in another element that needs to be handled both timely and effectively.

I regularly handle DUI cases in Van Nuys, including DUI with car accidents, and can be reached at 818-336-1384. I would be happy to speak to you about your case at your convenience.

Phil Hache,

Felony DUI Attorney
Handling DUI and Criminal matters throughout Courts in Southern California including Van Nuys, CA, San Fernando, CA, Burbank, CA, Glendale, CA, Pasadena, CA, Metropolitan Court, Bellflower, CA, Alhambra, CA, Malibu, CA, Compton, CA, Santa Clarita, CA, Airport Court, Chatsworth, CA Inglewood, CA, Los Angeles, CA and other Courts