Your Trusted Legal Advocates, Defending the People of Southwest Florida

When DUI charges result from a crash that causes injury

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | DUI

Individuals who are accused of impaired driving may face serious criminal charges and a variety of different penalties. Not every driving under the influence (DUI) charge is the same. Some people face charges because of a technical violation, possibly because they failed the breath test. Other people end up arrested after their involvement in a motor vehicle collision.

Crashes are one of the factors that can aggravate Florida DUI charges. A person accused of impairment at the wheel could face more serious charges and harsher penalties because their alleged impaired driving had a negative impact on others.

What does someone involved in a DUI collision that led to injury for others need to know about their situation?

The charges they face could be different

Someone who faces basic DUI charges for a first offense likely faces second-degree misdemeanor charges. A DUI crash causing any amount of injury to others could lead to first-degree misdemeanor charges. If the injury to the other party was serious, then the offense becomes a third-degree felony. If a person or an unborn child dies because of the wreck, then the state could pursue DUI manslaughter charges, which is a felony in the first or second degree.

Someone’s history can also influence both the charges that the state brings and the penalties a judge might impose if someone pleads guilty or gets convicted. Any prior DUI offense could lead to more serious consequences after a subsequent conviction.

The defense strategy they employ may be different

There are a variety of ways to respond to DUI charges in Florida. Some people raise questions about the legality of a traffic stop. If they can show that a police officer did not have a justification to pull them over to begin with, the prosecutor may not be able to use the evidence gathered during the traffic stop. On the other hand, maybe there’s reason to question the accuracy of the testing performed after a collision. Someone might have medical evidence or other crucial information that could raise questions about whether they were actually under the influence at the time of the wreck.

Defendants facing DUI manslaughter charges or similar allegations often need to prepare carefully to protect themselves from the worst-case scenario. Evaluating the evidence with a skilled legal team can be a good starting point for someone hoping to mount a defense against DUI charges in Florida.