Being arrested for DUI in Florida is a traumatic ordeal. If injuries were involved in an accident where the driver is accused of being under the influence, the experience is much more distressing.
Authorities will investigate the crash and the prosecutor’s office can bring a number of charges against you. In the event that someone else’s physical injuries are severe, the criminal penalties will be very harsh if you are convicted of DUI with Serious Bodily Injury.
The best course of action is to talk with an exceptionally experienced criminal DUI defender as soon as possible. The police and prosecutors are going to investigate the event to compile evidence against you. Protect your rights and preserve your chances for acquittal by calling the Kessler Law Firm now:
Understanding What The Charge DUI With Serious Bodily Injury Means
Florida law defines serious bodily injury as an injury to any person, other than the accused 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.
In order to be found guilty of DUI causing serious bodily injury, the prosecutor must first prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They must then prove that influence was to a degree that a) impaired your normal faculties, or b) was over the legal limit of .08 blood-alcohol content.
Under Florida’s sentencing points system, you will be facing substantial mandatory prison time if you are found guilty of causing serious injuries to another person while DUI.
Offense Severity and Sentence Scoring
A DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury is a Third Degree Felony. If you are convicted, sentencing laws will score this as a Level 7 Severity crime, which carries 56 sentencing points.
If the crime involves a serious victim injury, another 40 sentence points will be added.
Under the criminal punishment code, a total sentence score over 44 points requires mandatory minimum prison time in most cases, unless your lawyer can persuade the judge to disregard the punishment recommended by the criminal punishment code.
Mandatory Minimum Determination
The formula that determines the minimum prison sentence is:
Total Score – 28 points = result à Result (less 25%) = Min. sentence in months.
There are other aggravating factors and enhancements that can also add to your score, such as if you were driving on a suspended license.
The sentencing report will also look at your record for any prior convictions or civil violations and add even more points to your total score if any are found.
Without considering these additional factors or related charges, you could face a mandatory minimum of 4 years and 3 months for DUI causing Serious Bodily Injury to another.
Minimum Penalties Summary
- Minimum of at least 4 years, 3 months incarceration
- Driver’s License revocation for at least 3 years
- Vehicle impoundment
- Mandatory substance abuse evaluation
- Mandatory psychological evaluation
- Mandatory DUI education classes
Florida does not allow a sentencing judge to exceed statutory maximums for designated offenses. A conviction for an offense that’s designated a felony in the third degree has the following maximums:
- Up to 5 years in state prison;
- Post-release probation up to 5 years;
- Up to $5,000 in fines, plus court fees;
- Possible victim restitution ordered.
A Board-Certified Criminal Trial Specialist Can Help
There are many big hurdles to face after a charge of DUI with Serious Injury. But a highly experienced DUI defense attorney can help you fight to overcome them.
Attorney Michael Kessler is prepared to try taking the state’s case against you apart, piece by piece. His expertise is extensive when it comes to litigating complex drunk driving cases like those involving serious injuries.
Attorney Kessler wrote the book on Florida DUI law and has committed his practice to protecting your rights and defending your freedoms.
As a board-certified Criminal Trial Specialist, he can:
- Immediately involve his own DUI investigator on your behalf;
- Request every item of evidence from police and prosecutors for comprehensive evaluation and review;
- Apply accident reconstruction principles to identify any contributing factors;
- Determine whether police violated your rights by not following procedural law;
- Interview / re-interview all witnesses;
- Help you take proactive steps that may please the court;
- Develop a defense that you will feel comfortable with, and confident in.
Attorney Michael Kessler has exposed flaws and found fault with countless blood and alcohol testing methods over his career. His tireless pursuit of justice for every client is why he’s regarded widely as Florida’s Go-to Guy for DUI cases.
If you want to find out how he’d fight for you, call him now for a free consultation on your case: 772.466.4900.