The consequences of driving under the influence are already harsh enough on their own, if a person is DUI and they get into an accident, the consequences become a lot more severe and a driver will have to give up a lot more of their time and money to make amendments for their actions.
A driver can expect the following charges for getting into an accident while drunk driving:
- DUI with property damage– A first-degree misdemeanor charge with 1 year in jail and a maximum of $1000 in fines
- DUI with manslaughter– A second-degree felony charge with 15 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines
- DUI with injuries– 1-5 years in jail or prison (depending on the severity of the injury) and $1000-$5000 in fines
The most important factor to remember when a person is being pulled over by officers after a DUI accident is that they should comply with what the officers are saying or they risk aggravating their offense and, in turn, getting subjected to more severe penalties. The more severe the accident was, the worse the penalties are for failing to comply with officers.
For instance, if a person gets into an accident which causes the death of an individual, and they leave the scene without communicating with officers or reporting the accident to the authorities, their charge goes up from a second degree felony up to a first degree felony and their jail time goes up by another 15 years. It is important to note that if a person hits a pregnant woman and her unborn baby is lost due to the accident, a person will be charged with manslaughter as well.
Any DUI charge-with or without an accident- will cause a person to have their license immediately suspended. This can seriously take a toll on a person’s life and can cause a person to miss out on work and important classes. The more damage a person caused while DUI the more subsequent charges they will be compelled to face.
When do I need to call a lawyer?
It is always best for a person to get in touch with a DUI lawyer in Tampa, Florida as soon as they get into the accident so they can receive legally sound instructions on what to say and do when confronted with the officers. Going forward with the case and accepting all the penalties a person is charged with, without putting up a fight is a serious mistake and can lead a person to end up with far more penalties then they should have.
A lawyer will be able to help defend a person in court by countering the penalties and charges being laid on them through various defenses specific to a person’s exact situation. It is a good idea for a person to take legal advice before proceeding forward with their hearings and especially before agreeing to go through with the penalties and charges being laid against them.