DUI Serious Bodily Injury
If you are arrested in Florida for a DUI with serious bodily injury offense, please contact the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh to discuss your DUI Serious Bodily Injury Miami case.
An emotionally painful experience is often associated with being arrested for DUI in Florida. The situation becomes even more distressing if the crash results in an injury where the driver is accused of being under the influence.
Authorities must investigate the circumstances of a crash closely, and the prosecutor can bring multiple charges against the driver. If the victim's physical injury is serious, and if the driver is convicted of DUI Serious Bodily Injury, it may result in severe criminal penalties.
The definition of serious bodily injury in Florida is an injury to any person, apart from the accused driver, that consists of a physical condition that leads to a substantial risk of death, severe disfigurement, or permanent loss or disability of any body member or organ function.
A trio of distinct factors must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a driver to be charged with a DUI crime of causing serious bodily injury. These are:
- The defendant was driving the vehicle or was in actual physical control.
- When driving and physically operating the car, the defendant was under the influence of alcoholic drugs to the degree that their natural abilities were impaired or that they had at least 0.08 or higher breath/blood alcohol levels; and
- The defendant caused or contributed to serious bodily injury due to the vehicle's operation.
A defendant does not need to be the primary cause of the crash to be deemed a 'cause' for the purposes of the crime. In addition, Florida does not have to prove that the drinking of the operator was the cause of the accident. The Supreme Court of Florida has ruled that any deviation or lack of care is sufficient to support a conviction.
DUI Serious Bodily Injury Fort Lauderdale is considered a third-degree offense in Florida, with penalties of up to five years' imprisonment or five years probation, in addition to a $5,000 fine. A conviction may also result in the victim being awarded restitution as compensation for the losses they sustained.
An offense conviction also carries the possibility of a mandatory minimum prison sentence. This may include a minimum of four years and three months in prison, the suspension of the driver's license for at least three years, the impounding of their vehicle, and mandatory DUI education classes, to name a few. Nevertheless, if, for instance, their blood alcohol level was at least .15 or higher or if there was a minor present when the DUI crime occurred, the criminal may still face increased penalties.
The general information provided above is meant for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for speaking directly with an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your DUI Serious Bodily Injury case. Please call 954.500.0003 in Broward or 305.674.0003 in Miami to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh.