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DUI Causing Property Damage

In cases involving DUI with property damage, the stakes are high. After an arrest, drivers are worried about the pending criminal charges, the administrative suspension of their driver’s license, and their insurance coverage for the crash.

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn more about the pending charges, the potential penalties, and the best defenses. We help our clients fight to avoid a criminal conviction. The penalties are harsh, even for a first DUI arrest without any prior record. A criminal defense lawyer in Tallahassee can help you at each stage of the case.

Tallahassee Attorney for DUI with Property Damage

If you have been charged with driving under the influence causing property damage, then Pumphrey Law. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have the experience necessary to fight these difficult cases. Prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office in Leon County, FL, often take an aggressive stance in these cases, especially when the accident involved another vehicle.

Call (850) 681-7777 to discuss the best strategy for your DUI defense. Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout North Florida including Monticello in Jefferson County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Bristol in Liberty County.


DUI with Property Damage Information


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Definition of DUI with Property Damage in Florida

A driver can be considered under the influence of drugs or alcohol if his or her normal faculties are impaired. The prosecutor can also allege that the driver’s blood or breath alcohol concentration is at or above the legal limit of .08 regardless of impairment. If that person causes an accident or damages property, then the maximum and minimum penalties are enhanced.

The penalties and punishments for DUI with property damage can be more severe than a DUI that does not involve a crash. Under Florida Statute 316.193(3), even if the driver has no prior arrest record, the crime can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by 12 months in the county jail and fines up to $1,000. Additionally, certain other minimum conditions must be imposed by the judge, including probation and a requirement that the driver installs the dreaded ignition interlock device.


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Elements of DUI Property Damage in Florida

In a DUI case involving property damage, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office must prove several things at trial beyond all reasonable doubt. These requirements are often called the elements of the offense. In this type of DUI case, the prosecutor must prove:

  • The person accused of the offense either drove or was in actual physical control of the vehicle
  • While operating the vehicle, the person accused of property damage DUI contributed to causing personal injury to another person or damage to the property of the another person
  • The person accused of the car accident either:
    • Had a breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol (for 210 liters of breath or 100 milliliters of blood)
    • Was impaired by alcohol intoxication or drug impairment to the extent that the driver’s normal faculties were impaired

The term “normal faculties” is defined under Florida law to include things like walking, talking, seeing, hearing, driving a motor vehicle, making decisions and acting in emergencies. In fact, it also can mean being able to normally perform the many physical acts and mental tasks required in our daily lives.


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Possible Defenses to DUI with Property Damage

Although a DUI charge can seem impossible to fight, there are options. A skilled Tallahassee defense attorney at Pumphrey Law can study the facts of your case and determine defenses that may apply to your circumstances, including:

  • Whether the prosecutor has a witness who saw the defendant actually driving the vehicle or sitting behind the wheel (often called the “wheel witness”)
  • Whether the defendant’s injuries from the crash caused the impairment instead of intoxication
  • Whether the defendant’s injuries from the accident impacted the defendant’s performance on the field sobriety exercises
  • Whether the arresting officer violated the accident report privilege or failed to read Miranda warnings

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DUI Causing Property Damage Lawyer in Tallahassee, FL

After an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol causing property damage, you should seek the help of experienced representation. Florida drunk driving defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law have the training and experience necessary to fight these difficult cases. Whether your case involves a breath, blood or urine test or a refusal to submit, we can help.

Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation.


This article was last updated on Thursday, September 15, 2016.