DUI With Serious Bodily Injury
As with any drunk driving charge, the penalties for DUI with serious bodily injury are steep. Florida has harsh laws regarding drinking and driving, and the punishments can have a serious impact on a person's life. Drivers facing a conviction for this offense can potentially be punished with jail or prison time and fines. In addition, drivers run the risk of having their license suspended. An experienced criminal defense attorney focused on felony DUI cases in Tallahassee, FL, can help you protect your rights as you fight for the best result.
An experienced criminal defense attorney focused on felony DUI cases in Tallahassee, FL, can help you protect your rights as you fight for the best result.
Attorney for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Tallahassee, FL
If you have been charged with a felony for DUI with serious bodily injury, seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee, FL. An attorney can examine the particular facts of your case and find all of the exculpatory evidence and mitigating circumstances. An attorney can fight for an outright dismissal or the dismissal of the charges. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have experience representing clients in these cases and never settle for the easiest outcome.
Contact Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about the allegations against you. Our law firm is focused on serving clients charged with a crime throughout the Florida Panhandle, including those in Tallahassee, Monticello, Crawfordville, and Midway.
Florida DUI With Serious Bodily Injury Information Center
- Definition for DUI With Serious Bodily Injury
- Penalties for DUI With Serious Bodily Injury in Florida
- Other Possible Repercussions
- Defenses to DUI Serious Bodily Injury in Florida
A person who drinks and drives in Florida can be charged with DUI if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher. DUI can also be charged if the driver's normal faculties were impaired, even if the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing. Furthermore, if a driver involved in an accident that results in death or serious bodily injury, then the driver can be charged under Florida Statutes § 316.193 with DUI with serious bodily injury.
“Serious bodily injury" under Florida Statutes § 316.1933 means any injury to a person involved in the car accident, including the driver, that involves physical disfigurement, loss or impairment of bodily functions or any injury that will likely result in death.
For example, if a driver who is under the influence of alcohol crashes into another vehicle while driving, even if the accused is the only one injured, he or she could face DUI with serious bodily injury charges.
In a DUI case, serious bodily injury may be proved through medical documentation. Some cases might require the testimony of an expert medical witness to verify the seriousness of the injuries. Examples of serious bodily injury include:
- Extreme physical pain
- Disfigurement that is obvious or protracted, such as burn wounds
- Permanent or protracted impairment of a bodily organ or member
- Loss of mental faculties
- Injuries involving substantial risk of death, such as profuse bleeding
Cases involving the death of another person may be prosecuted differently from DUI cases causing serious bodily injury. If a person sustained an injury in the accident, but later died as a result of the injury, the case could be considered DUI manslaughter.
A conviction for DUI with serious bodily injury which resulted in serious bodily injury, but not death, is a felony of the third degree. Felony charges result in more strict legal consequences than misdemeanor charges. This third-degree felony can involve up to five years in a Florida prison, fines up to $5,000 or both.
If the alleged crime resulted in death, it is called DUI Manslaughter, and can result in a second-degree felony conviction. These felonies can include up to 15 years in state prison, fines up to $10,000 or both.
In some instances of DUI with serious bodily injury the penalties can be harsher. If you are considered a repeat offender and previously have been convicted of a DUI, you may face a more severe punishment. Potential penalties for drivers convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury can include:
- Probation with monthly reporting
- Completion of a substance abuse course
- Community service
- Ignition interlock device
- License suspension for at least three years
Drivers also could receive a civil lawsuit for damages, which then would have to be handled by a personal injury attorney. Even if the person was a passenger in the car, he or she still could file a lawsuit for damages. Damages can include medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Facing a DUI charge can be intimidating, especially if the charge alleges you caused someone harm. However, there are options to help you combat the charge. Drivers who have been charged with this offense may be able to have this charge reduced or dropped. Possible defenses include:
Faulty Blood Test – A DUI defense attorney can argue the blood test used by the officer at the scene of the arrest may have been faulty. For example, if the officer administered the blood test too late, the results may be inaccurate. Or, the test results could be thrown out if it was improperly administered by the officer, or was administered by an unqualified person. Additionally, the blood test may have been tainted in the laboratory, which would produce skewed results.
Driving – If you were not the person actually driving the car, you may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed. The prosecution will have to prove you were the person actually driving the car when the accident occurred.
No Serious Injuries – If the car accident did not result in serious injuries to the body, or injuries that likely would result in death, then your charge can possibly be reduced to a less severe charge.
Constitutional Violations – The arresting officer may have violated your constitutional rights, which could lead to your charge being dismissed or reduced. Examples of constitutional violations are if the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your car or the arresting officer failed to give you Miranda Warnings.
Finding DUI Injury Lawyers in Tallahassee, FL
If you have been charged with this causing serious bodily injury while driving under the influence, call (850) 681-7777 to discuss the facts of your particular case with a skilled and experienced attorney. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law can help you fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed outright. We work hard to help our clients fight for the best result in their case.
Our attorneys represent clients on a variety of DUI charges from a misdemeanor for a first DUI arrest or a more serious felony charge such as DUI manslaughter. We work hard to help our clients fight for the best result in their case.
This article was last updated on Thursday, September 15, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.