If you’ve been arrested for a DUI with serious bodily injury in the State of Florida, you run the risk of facing incredibly severe criminal penalties. Even if there is never a conviction, a felony DUI charge can have a drastic impact on your life. To explore the defenses available to contest your charge or minimize potential penalties, it’s absolutely crucial that you contact a DWI lawyer in Clearwater with The Law Offices of Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan for a free consultation. You only have one opportunity to get the right result, and you’ll need a legal ally by your side who is familiar with the unique nature of DUI with serious injury charges and the Pinellas County Criminal Court System. During the consultation, we can discuss which options and approaches are best for you and coordinate a strategy to achieve the best possible outcome.
Elements of DUI With Serious Bodily Injury
The crime of DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury is defined in section 316.193(3) of The Florida Statutes. In order for you to be convicted of a DUI with serious bodily injury, the prosecutor in your case must prove three factual elements beyond a reasonable doubt.
- You drove or were in actual physical control of the vehicle
- While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, you were under the influence of alcohol to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired OR you had a breath/blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher
- As a result of operating the vehicle, you caused or contributed to the serious bodily injury of another individual
Under Section 316.1933(1)(b) of the Florida Statutes, “serious bodily injury” refers to an injury to any person, including the driver, that consists of a physical condition that creates one of the following conditions:
- Substantial risk of death
- Serious personal disfigurement
- Protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ
Possible Penalties for DUI With Serious Bodily Injury
In Florida, DUI with serious bodily injury is classified as a third-degree felony charge and a level 7 offense, which is given a primary offense point value of 56. If the prosecution succeeds in having the victim’s injuries classified as severe, you could end with up to 40 more points. 30 more points can also be added to your total for a prior serious felony conviction. This “points” system is complicated. As a result, it is critical that you partner with the best DUI Lawyer in Clearwater to determine your “score” and evaluate what defenses may exist in the unique circumstances of your case.
Overall, the minimum penalties for DUI with serious bodily injury include:
- Up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation
- A $5,000 fine
- A potential restitution award to compensate the victim for his or her losses
- The suspension of your driver’s license for at least 3 years
- Vehicle impoundment
- Mandatory psychological evaluation
- Mandatory DUI education classes
- Mandatory substance abuse evaluation
How an Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI that allegedly resulted in serious bodily injury, there’s no time to waste in contacting an experienced DWI attorney in Clearwater who has a successful track record of defending those accused of serious DUI offenses in the State of Florida and is dedicated to preserving your rights. Facing a DUI charge can be incredibly intimidating; however, there are several options to having your charge reduced or dropped altogether. Possible defenses include no serious injuries, constitutional violations of your rights, a faulty blood test issued at the scene of your arrest, and more. Simply get in contact with one of our DWI attorneys in Clearwater today, and we’ll get to work immediately at informing you of the defenses available to contest your charge or minimize the potential penalties.
For a free consultation with DWI lawyers in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.