DUI & Causing Property Damage or Injury In Okaloosa County or Walton County
Under Fla. Stat. §316.193(3), to drive under the influence and cause property damage, injury, directly or indirectly to another person, is a first degree misdemeanor.
In order to prove Driving Under the Influence Causing Property Damage or Injury or Bodily Harm, Okaloosa County or Walton County prosecutors must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- The Defendant drove, or was in actual physical control of the vehicle.
- While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, was under influence of a alcohol or chemical substance to the extent that their normal faculties were impaired and/or had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
- As a result, property was damaged, or persons were injured.
If there is a DUI related crash that results in serious bodily injury, then the DUI charge becomes a felony under Fla. Stat. §316.193(3)(2).
The Penalties for DUI & Causing Property Damage or Injury Okaloosa County or Walton County
In Florida, if you are convicted, Judges are required to impose certain penalties if convicted. These penalties may include:
- A potential term of imprisonment for up to one year.
- Up to one year of monthly reporting probation.
- Driver’s license to be suspended for at least six months, but up to one year.
- Minimum fine of $500 up to $1,000.
- Ten day impoundment of vehicle.
- 50 hours of community service work.
- 12 hour Substance Abuse Program (DUI School).
- Completion of recommended Substance Abuse Treatment.
In addtion to the required penalties, if convicted, the Defendant could also be subjected to enhanced penalties if the blood alcohol level was legally determined to be .15 or higher.
In those cases, the Judge must impose a punishment of a minimum fine of $1,000, not to exceed $2,000 and an interlock device must be placed on every car owned or frequently operated by the Defendant for 6-12 months.
The Defendant would also be responsible to pay for the device to be installed, as well as a monthly service fee.
In DUI cases where a minor was in the vehicle, if convicted as charged, the Judge must also impose additional sanctions, including elevated fines.
Solid Defenses For A DUI Arrest With Damage or Injury
There are defenses that can be raised in a DUI with Property Damage or Injury case.
These defenses are similar in all DUI related cases. These issues may present themselves depending on whether your case involves a(n):
- Illegal Stop or Police Encounter.
- Illegal Detention or Seizure.
- Lack of Probable Cause for Arrest.
- Miranda Warning Violation (Illegally Obtained Statements).
- Improper Field Sobriety Testing Procedures.
- Improper Breath or Blood Alcohol Testing.
If you have been charged with any type of DUI related crime in Okaloosa County or Walton County, call my office today for a free consultation.
It is imperative that you get the assistance of a Criminal Defense attorney that is knowledgeable in all the ways to challenge a DUI charge.