Probation Successfully Modified for Our Client Involved in DUI Homicide Filed as Vehicle Code section 23153 Reduced to Simple DUI!

Over one year ago our client was arrested for a violation of Vehicle Code section 23153, “Unlawful Driving Under the Influence and Concurrent Act Proximately Causing Bodily Injury to Person Other than Driver” in which a passenger died.

The police reports for the incident alleged that our client had been attending a golf tournament with his close friend and they had been drinking throughout the day. After the tournament ended, our client and his friend continued to drink and our client drove a golf cart to a nearby friend’s house. At the end of their night, our client was the driver of the golf cart and his friend was the passenger. On the trip back to the course, the passenger fell out of the golf cart, hit his head on the concrete pavement, and later died at the hospital due to the injuries sustained from the accident.

Witnesses that observed our client after the accident called 911 and reported that they believed our client to be under the influence of alcohol based on his behavior and speech. The district attorney had originally considered filing voluntary manslaughter charges against our client but, ultimately, our client was charged with a DUI causing bodily injury, Vehicle Code section 23153.

After review of the discovery, videos, photos, and police reports, our office began negotiations with the prosecution. We provided the prosecution with CALCRIM 2100, which requires, in order to sustain a conviction for Vehicle Code section 23153, the people to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that our client: (1) drove a vehicle; (2) when driving, the defendant was under the influence of alcohol; (3) that while driving under the influence, the defendant also committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty; and (4) the defendant’s illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty caused bodily injury to another person. We argued that there was no evidence of unlawful driving in this matter or neglect to perform a legal duty as required by the statute for a conviction to Vehicle Code section 23153.   

Our office also provided significant mitigation documents showing that our client is a successful businessman, has no prior convictions, donates regularly, is newly a father, and has committed himself to excel at his education and career. After strenuous negotiations, our office was able to negotiate to a simple DUI for this matter with standard DUI terms (including an 18-month alcohol program), community labor, and no jail.

Our client recently contacted our office seeking to modify his probation terms in order to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license from the DMV. The DMV was prohibiting our client from obtaining his unrestricted driver’s license until he fully completed the 18-month alcohol program. Therefore, we filed a motion with the prosecution and the court requesting that the court modify the alcohol program requirement to 9 months, as opposed to 18 months, so our client could obtain his unrestricted license.

At the hearing on the motion, the court agreed with our request and modified our client’s probationary alcohol class requirement to 9 months instead of 18. This is a great result for our client that will allow him to obtain his unrestricted license!


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Escovar Law, APC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. The information on this website is a communication and is for informational purposes only. The facts of every case are unique and nothing on this page or on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and viewing of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. The result portrayed in this advertisement was dependent on the facts of this case. Results will differ if based on different facts.