I got arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles and was charged with 2 counts (a) and (b)? What does it mean?
CONSEQUENCES: Most people who submit to either blood or breath test and test above .08% BAC will be charged with two separate crimes, a violation of California Vehicle Code 23152(a) and a violation of California Vehicle Code 23152(b). The consequences of being convicted of both crimes are exactly the same as the consequences of being convicted of either one. California law specifically does not allow punishing the same conduct more then once even when that same conduct can be charged as two separate crimes. (California Penal Code Section 654). Some jurisdictions will want conviction for both counts (Orange County), while other jurisdictions will not mind conviction for only one either count. If your court wants a plea to both crimes, you will not have 2 priorable DUIs on your record, because only offenses on different occasions counts as priors. Also, you will not have higher punishment only because both crimes are charged: the fines, the length of probation, the type of alcohol program etc., will not be affected only because both counts are on the complaint.
THE DIFFERENCE AND THE REASON: VC 23152(a) prohibits impaired driving while VC23152(b) prohibits driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher. The reference to “impaired driving” rather then “drunk driving” in the “a” count allows prosecutors to charge the “a” count for driving while under the influence of various drugs or when defendants refused to submit to a test. The “b” count allow prosecutors to prosecute someone who holds his liqueur very good and is not intoxicated at .08% blood alcohol concentration. The “a” count allows prosecution for a DUI of someone who is below the .08% blood alcohol concentration but is still drunk – like a person who does not drink often and because of this have low tolerance and will be impaired even at .07% BAC or lower.
Call Los Angeles DUI Attorneys for a free consultation and analysis of your case.
Posted by Attorney Alex Andryuschenko.