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When a driver is involved in an auto accident that causes serious in injury to another person her or she may receive a citation for careless driving or violating a particular traffic rule such as failure to yield. It is not a crime to cause a serious injury accident in Florida, but if the at fault driver was under the influence it becomes not only a criminal offense, but a serious felony offense. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI serious bodily injury the stakes are extremely high, and jail time is a real possibility even for a first-time offender. DUI serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony under Florida law, and even defendants who can avoid a lengthy jail sentence may end up with a permanent felony conviction. Do not gamble with your future by showing up to court without an experienced lawyer in this serious offense. A lawyer may be able to argue legal defenses that could result in a dismissal or reduction of charges before the case even goes to trial. If retained immediately, a lawyer may also be to argue that the charges not be formally filed. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida DUI lawyer who specializes in cases involving serious bodily injury. He has successfully defended hundreds of defendants charged with felony offenses in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, and is also an experienced Treasure Coast DUI lawyer for drivers facing charges in Martin and St. Lucie County. Benjamin can be reached anytime, 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305 for a free consultation.
All drivers who are involved in a car, truck or motorcycle crash that results in an injury must remain on scene and speak to law enforcement or an accident investigator. Statements made regarding an accident are not admissible in a criminal case, but before or during this accident investigation police may observe signs of impairment that will lead to a criminal investigation. Florida law enforcement officers who observe any sign of driver impairment in a serious injury accident have legal authority to require submission to a blood alcohol test. In fact, state law authorizes law enforcement officers to use reasonable force to take a blood sample from a DUI suspect. Even if law enforcement does not request a test, the state has a right to subpoena blood test results from the hospital at a later date. Blood test results can take weeks, so often times the defendant is not charged right away. This is especially true when the defendant suffers a serious injury as well as the victim. If you have been investigated for DUI but not charged, do not wait until charges are filed to contact an attorney. A lawyer can prevent law enforcement from questioning you, and in some cases may be able to convince the state not to file charges. Never speak to a police officer who is conducting a criminal investigation without counsel, as investigators and detectives are trained to illicit incriminating statements from unrepresented suspects.
There are numerous defenses that may be available in Florida DUI serious bodily injury cases. For starters, the state must establish serious bodily injury through presentation of medical testimony. Serious bodily injury is a legal term that requires proof of a condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any organ. This is a high bar to establish, and an experienced lawyer may be able to argue for dismissal of any case where the evidence does not prove serious injury. A lawyer may also be able to exclude the admissibility of improperly administered blood tests, which could result in a dismissal as well. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida serious bodily injury DUI lawyer who is standing by to fight for you. Call Benjamin him to find out which defenses may be available in your case at (954) 543-0305. He has flexible meeting hours in his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices, and can also travel to meet anywhere from Homestead to Port St. Lucie to meet at a convenient location.