A Santa Cruz County man has been sentenced to two years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that left an acclaimed professional cyclist permanently injured, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Superior Court Judge Paul Marigonda stated that Thomas Legan’s history of driving offenses-including two DUI arrests and a reckless driving conviction-influenced the sentence he received.
According to authorities, the California DUI offender had been drinking the night of the July 2009 accident, in which he struck a motorcycle while driving on Highway 1 and kept going. The rider, Taylor Tolleson of Santa Cruz, was thrown 800 feet and suffered permanent neurological damage and other injuries.
As this case highlights, DUI offenders with prior convictions are subject to much greater California DUI penalties. In addition, Involvement in a traffic accident while driving under the influence is an enhancement to the regular CA DUI charge. If this enhancement factor is proven and if the California DUI charge is a felony, then the DUI defendant faces an additional 90 days to 1 year in jail.
Given the serious consequences, DUI defendants with prior California DUI convictions and who face sentencing enhancements are wise to consult with an experienced California DUI attorney who will attempt to negotiate a plea bargain, resulting in lesser charges and less severe consequences.