Many drunk drivers are also charged with additional crimes for traffic violations, causing accidents, fleeing from accidents, or even hurting or killing other people on the road. These charges all carry serious consequences, which is why it is so crucial to speak with an experienced defense attorney regardless of whether the charges are misdemeanors, felonies, or a combination of both.
Drunk driver crashes into one car, drives away, then loses control again
The Florida Highway Patrol was investigating an accident where a drunk driver drove into another vehicle. A woman was driving through the intersection of US 441 and County Road 250. At around 6:05 pm, she drove into the back of a Honda Accord that was stopped at a traffic light. The impact forced the vehicle with two occupants inside into the intersection. The suspect drove away from this first scene, and her car flipped off of the road in a separate crash a short time later at US 41 and Long Street in Lake City. She suffered only minor injuries after her car flipped, but law enforcement and witnesses were concerned that there was a 9 year old child in the Accord she struck on the first impact.
The 53 year old female suspect was from Lake City. She was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless driving. She was held on a $3000 bond in Columbia County Jail.
The cumulative effect of multiple charges can be very damaging to a person’s ability to drive, their personal finances, and future job prospects. This is because Florida has mandatory minimum sentences for DUI cases, where the person’s driver’s license will normally be suspended for at least 6 months, fines can be thousands of dollars, probation requirements can be strict, and a criminal DUI conviction can cause many employers to avoid hiring the applicant. Having all of these things happen at once can negatively affect a person’s life for several years, even if they manage to avoid serving any jail time.
The possibility of a defense
Criminal defense lawyers routinely deal with cases involving multiple charges from the same incident. In most situations, prosecutors only expect the defendant to take a plea or receive a conviction on the most serious charge, while the others are consolidated into a sentence or plea. This makes handling cases easier from an administrative standpoint. Defense attorneys also know how to negotiate plea deals where a defendant may admit guilt to one offense in exchange for having the others dropped and decreasing the prosecutor’s workload while giving them the benefit of a conviction.
Aside from case management techniques, there are other ways defense attorneys help their clients. One common example in traffic cases is that that police initially stopped someone for an improper reason. This does occasionally happen in traffic cases, and it can be very beneficial to defendants. The defense attorney can file a motion to suppress to have all of the evidence after the initial stop removed from the state’s case. This is because all Americans are constitutionally protected from being stopped by the police unless there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and the proper procedures are followed during the initial stop and arrest. In situations where the defense attorney has these motions granted, the prosecutor will often have no choice but to drop the case or significantly reduce the charges due to lack of available evidence.
Talk to a DUI defense lawyer in Lake City
If you have been charged with driving under the influence and any additional crimes, it is imperative to get help from an experienced defense attorney. Koberlein Law Offices can provide superior legal representation in Lake City and throughout Columbia and Alachua County.