Fort Lauderdale DUI With Serious Bodily Injury
DUI with Serious Bodily injury accusations in Fort Lauderdale carry harsher punishments than standard DUI charges. Under Florida Statute 316.193(3) (c) 2, anyone who commits serious bodily injury to another commits a felony of the third degree. This means that defendants might face up to five years in prison, probation, or a mix of the two, depending on the facts of the case. Fort Lauderdale DUI Penalties are substantially severe when there are injuries involved.
The term “severe bodily injury” refers to an injury to any person, including the driver, that involves a physical condition that poses a significant risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or the loss or impairment of the function of any body member or organ for an extended period of time. Even if a major bodily harm is not immediately apparent following a DUI-related collision, the alleged offender could still be prosecuted with this crime if the injuries later appear, become serious, or result in the victim’s death. If the victim succumbs to his or her injuries and dies, DUI Manslaughter and even DUI Murder are possible.
In order for a driver to be prosecuted with a DUI crime of causing serious bodily injury in Fort Lauderdale, three distinct circumstances must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt. These are:
- The defendant was in actual physical control of the car or driving it.
- The defendant was under the influence of alcoholic drugs to the extent that their natural abilities were impaired or that they had at least a 0.08% or higher breath/blood alcohol level when driving and physically operating the car.
- Due to the vehicle’s operation, the defendant caused or contributed to significant bodily injury.
When it comes to DUI with serious bodily injury cases, the Fort Lauderdale DUI Process will be very different. For example, while the case is underway, a Fort Lauderdale DUI with serious bodily injury defendant can anticipate the Court to impose conditions of release, such as attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.
Prison time, mandatory DUI classes, expensive court fines and fees, restitution to any victim, revocation or suspension of driver’s license, and other collateral consequences such as increased insurance premiums, loss of professional licenses, and loss of employment are all part of the Fort Lauderdale DUI with serious bodily injury sentence. If the defendant’s blood alcohol level was at least .15% or higher or if there was a minor present when the DUI crime occurred, the defendant may still face increased penalties.
For a first offense, under Florida Statute 322.28, a person convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury faces a mandatory driver’s license suspension of at least three years. This period can be extended to five years if the offender is convicted of a second DUI offense within five years of the first, or ten years if the offender is convicted of a third DUI offense within ten years of the first. In addition, if a person is convicted of DUI causing serious bodily injury for the fourth or subsequent time, their license or driving privileges may be removed permanently.