DUI Causing Property Damage
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in Florida, but intoxicated motorists can face enhanced criminal charges when they are accused of causing accidents that resulted in property damage or minor injuries. Even when a crash does not result in injuries to other people, property damage still leaves an alleged victim seeking some form of recompense.
A person who is accused of injuring another person or damaging the property of another party as the result of a DUI offense not only faces possible jail time and large fines, but can also be ordered to pay restitution to the alleged victim. Criminal charges can be enhanced if an alleged offender left the scene of the accident, had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), or was accompanied by a passenger under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged offense.Attorney for DUI Causing Property Damage in Broward County, FL
If you were arrested anywhere in South Florida for an alleged DUI causing property damage or injury to the person of another, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm defends clients accused of facing DUI charges in Sunrise, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines, and many surrounding areas of Broward County.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who is also a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Call (954) 524-4474 today to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Overview of DUI Causing Property Damage in Fort Lauderdale
- When can a person be charged with this crime?
- How can people be punished if they are convicted or plead guilty?
- Where can I find more information about DUI causing property damage in Broward County?
Florida DUI Causing Property Damage Charges
In order to prove the crime of DUI causing property damage or injury under Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(a)(b)(c)1, Chapter 28.1(a) of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions states that a prosecutor must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The alleged offender drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle;
- While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, the alleged offender was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired, or had a BAC of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath; and
- As a result of operating the vehicle, the alleged offender caused or contributed to causing damage to the property of the alleged victim or injury to the person of the alleged victim.
Actual physical control of a vehicle means that an alleged offender was physically in or on the vehicle and had the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he or she actually operated the vehicle at the time. DUI causing property damage or non-serious injury is a first-degree misdemeanor offense.
DUI Causing Property Damage Penalties in Broward County
Convictions for DUI causing property damage or injury to the person of another are punishable by the same statutory maximums allowed for first-degree misdemeanor offenses, including up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Any alleged offender convicted of this crime who was accompanied in the vehicle at the time of the offense by a person under the age of 18 years or had a BAC of 0.15 or higher can face increased fines, depending on his or her prior criminal record:
- First Conviction — Minimum fine of $1,000 up to $2,000;
- Second Conviction — Minimum fine of $2,000 up to $4,000; and
- Third or Subsequent Conviction — Minimum fine of $4,000.
Florida DUI Causing Property Damage Resources
Stay at the Scene | Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles — The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ “Stay at the Scene” campaign “aims to reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida by educating drivers on their responsibilities if involved in a crash and the serious consequences they face if they” hit and run. On this website, you can learn more about the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act and some of the penalties that are associated with hit and run offenses, including those involving property damage. You can also view active hit and run cases by different Florida Highway Patrol troops.
State v. Kleiber, 5D14-2921 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015) — Stephen Alan J. Kleiber was charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, and two counts of DUI causing property damage. The trial court granted Kleiber’s motion in limine to exclude the results of his blood alcohol test based on the State’s alleged failure to comply with Florida Statute §316.1933 and Florida Administrative Code 2 Rule 11D-8.012, which directed that prior to collecting a sample of blood, the skin puncture area is to be cleansed with an antiseptic that does not contain alcohol. The paramedic who drew Kleiber’s blood used a dry gauze, rather than an antiseptic, to clean the skin puncture area. The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed after concluding that the trial court incorrectly applied a strict compliance standard in granting Kleiber’s motion, and said that on remand, the trial court should conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether there was substantial compliance with the promulgated rule in question.
Were you recently arrested for an alleged DUI causing property damage or injury to the person of another anywhere in Broward County? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents individuals all over South Florida, including residents of and visitors to Plantation, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Margate, and several other nearby communities. Call (954) 524-4474 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.