Tampa DUI Accident Attorney
Defense for DUI Accident Charges in Tampa, FL
When a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the chances of causing an accident may increase dramatically. An accident of this kind may result in serious and permanent injury, disability and even death. Because of this, law enforcement, judges and prosecutors have no tolerance for drunk or drugged driving and do not hesitate to seek severe punishments. Impaired driving not only puts the life and safety of the driver at risk, but can also cause severe injury or death to innocent passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.
As such, a driver who is suspected of causing an auto accident while drunk driving may face serious criminal charges and harsh penalties if convicted. A driver who is convicted of causing a car accident because he or she was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will face harsh legal penalties. In addition to DUI charges, drivers are also liable for any property damage or personal injuries that were sustained in the accident. If the accident results in the death of another person, the driver may also be charged with vehicular homicide or involuntary manslaughter. It is therefore critical to contact a
Tampa DUI lawyer who can build a solid defense.
Penalties for DUI Accident Convictions
If you are allegedly responsible for an auto accident because you were driving under the influence, it is vital to hire an experienced attorney immediately. You could potentially face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, which could result in numerous legal penalties, including steep monetary fines of at least $5,000, probation, driver's license revocation or suspension, community service, alcohol treatment programs, and long prison sentences. Let's take a brief look at the different types of offenses, penalties and other issues related to DUI accident charges:
DUI Causing Injury
This offense involves causing an auto accident while driving under the influence, when this causes serious bodily injury to another person. Generally a felony offense, DUI causing injury may be punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The driver must be found guilty of not only driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs but of actually causing the accident.
Often referred to as vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter involves causing the death of another person by causing a car accident while driving under the influence. This felony offense may be punishable by up to 15 or 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Hit & Run
Hit and run, or leaving the scene of an accident, may or may not be directly related to drunk driving. A driver who stands accused of leaving the scene of an injury accident may face felony hit and run charges, especially if charged in tandem with a DUI. Committing DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of the accident is a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Proof in a DUI Injury Case
One of the important issues to consider is that the driver will need to be found guilty not only of driving under the influence (as proven by impaired abilities and/or an unlawful blood alcohol concentration) but of causing the accident itself. The prosecuting attorney must prove, beyond all doubt, that the driver also caused the accident that injured or killed another person or persons.
As with any criminal case, the particular penalties you may face will vary depending on the jurisdiction as well as the specific circumstances surrounding the matter. Because every case is different, we recommend taking the time to review your options with an attorney as soon as possible. You may have different options in challenging your criminal charges or possibly avoiding formal charges in the first place. The sooner you act, the better.
Contact a Tampa DUI lawyer at our law offices today to discuss your DUI accident charges and how our legal team can assist you.