DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury
Drunk driving laws in the United States were passed largely to criminalize driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and hopefully reduce the significant number of serious or fatal crashes caused by allegedly drunk drivers. DUI is often a misdemeanor offense in Florida, but it can become a felony offense if an alleged offender causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury.
State law authorizes police officers who have probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle driven by or in the actual physical control of an alleged offender under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substances, or any controlled substances caused the serious bodily injury of a human being to use reasonable force if necessary to draw blood from the alleged offender. People accused of these types of crimes not only face possible imprisonment and fines, but can also be subject to civil lawsuits.Lawyer for DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury in Broward County, FL
If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation in Broward County for an alleged DUI offense involving serious bodily injury, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients accused of drunk driving offenses all over South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Margate, Dania Beach, Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, and several other nearby communities.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman has experience handling drunk driving cases on both sides of the aisle as a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Fort Lauderdale DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Information Center
- How can a person be charged with DUI causing serious bodily injury?
- What are the consequences of being convicted of this crime?
- Where can I find more information about DUI causing serious bodily injury in Broward County?
Florida DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Charges
Under Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(a)(b)(c)2, a person commits the third-degree felony offense of DUI causing serious bodily injury if he or she:
- Was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle;
- Was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired; and
- As a result of operating the motor vehicle, caused or contributed to causing serious bodily injury to the alleged victim(s).
Florida Statute § 316.1933(1)(b) defines serious bodily injury as “an injury to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” If an alleged offender is accused of leaving the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injury without giving identifying information to the alleged victim or attempting to render aid, the alleged offender can be charged with a second-degree felony.
DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Penalties in Broward County
A third-degree felony DUI causing serious bodily injury offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Second-degree felony offenses in which alleged offenders are accused of leaving the scene of accidents are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
People who are convicted of DUI causing serious bodily injury will also have their driver’s licenses suspended for a minimum of three years. Alleged offenders accused of this crime also face the prospect of possible civil lawsuits filed by alleged victims that seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and possibly other monetary considerations.
Florida DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Resources
Kelly v. State, 987 So. 2d 1237 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2008) — Kevin Kelly was convicted of three third-degree felonies: Driving under the influence with serious bodily injury, driving without a valid driver's license with serious bodily injury, and leaving the scene of an accident with injury. The Second District Court of Appeal concluded that Kelly was improperly convicted of both DUI with serious bodily injury and driving without a valid license with serious bodily injury, holding that Kelly was punished twice for causing injury to a single victim. The Court reversed Kelly's conviction and sentence for driving without a valid license with serious bodily injury, and affirmed his other two convictions but reversed the sentences and remanded the case for resentencing.
Florida Standard Jury Instructions | Chapter 28: Transportation Offenses — On this section of the Florida Supreme Court's website, you can download the full text of standard jury instructions given to juries for such transportation offenses as driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of a crash involving death or injury. Learn more about the elements that need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, applicable definitions, and lesser included offenses. Standard jury instructions are rarely used verbatim, but they still provide an idea of what juries will be asked to consider.
Do you believe that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for an alleged DUI causing serious bodily injury in South Florida? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who represents individuals in Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, Plantation, and many surrounding areas of Broward County. Call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.