Drunk driving cases can be very serious. However, any type of accident will increase the severity of the driver’s consequences. Accidents refer to incidents that involve the drunk driver’s vehicle or another person or property. Our drunk driving lawyers will examine drunk driving cases from a defense perspective. We will discuss what to do right away after a drunk driving incident, as well as the legal consequences.
We are drunk driving defense lawyers and can help you. Although drunk driving accidents can be frightening, it is important to remember that these types of incidents happen every day. This article will not change one thing: It is crucial to have an ally to help you navigate this difficult time. It is important to hire a top drunk driving defense lawyer as we know that even the most competent people can make mistakes.
What to do following a drunk driving incident
After a drunken driving accident, there are important steps you should take.
Stay at the scene of an accident
Remaining at the accident scene is the right thing to do.Remain calm. There are some things you can do that will help to mitigate any future harm.
- First, call the emergency services. It is crucial to mitigate any injuries that may have occurred to the pedestrian, other driver, or you. When we look at the differences between great bodily injury, death, and harm to the pedestrian, hit and run penalties can be very different.
- Second, take photos of the scene. You might find that an investigation uses your words against the person you have hit. Photographs are objective, real-time documentation of the accident scene.
- The third question is: Should you help the other driver? This is a tricky question. It is essential to alleviate any harm, but there are some risks. First, the victim is you. You will be called as a witness against him or her. Any actions you take in relation to this person will be used against your case. You must at the minimum “provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in an accident.”
- Be prepared to have conversations with the police. You will be asked questions by police officers. Field sobriety tests may be performed by a police officer.
What happens if I’m not at the accident scene?
It is a serious offense to leave the scene of an accident.Certain defenses are available in cases that involve charges such as homicide by impaired use of a motor vehicle. These defenses don’t apply for hit and run causing the death charges. Minnesota Statutes indicate that:
The defendant can defend himself or herself if the preponderance is in favor of the defense that the death occurred regardless of whether he/she had exercised due care or been under the influence.
This applies only if the case is homicide by intoxicated vehicle use. If you flee, you could be charged with hit-and-run causing death and face up to 25 years imprisonment.
Minnesota Statutes also addresses the driver’s responsibilities when striking an occupied vehicle or a person.The law requires:
Operators of vehicles involved in accidents must investigate the incident and, if they know or have reason to believe that an accident caused injury or death to any person or property that was driven or attended to by someone else, stop operating the vehicle and remain on the accident scene until the operator has provided reasonable assistance and information to the victim.
You can expect law enforcement officers to arrest and detain you
Unfortunately, you have limited control over this situation. If you operate while under the influence and cause a car accident, you will be arrested by the police.
Consult with a drunk driving defense lawyer
It is important to get representation as soon as possible when fighting drunk driving charges. The law enforcement officers don’t care about determining the facts of an accident scene. They want to arrest the person and refer them to the district attorney. To protect your rights, it is crucial to hire a top criminal defense lawyer. It is not a good idea to defend any type of criminal charge yourself.
A drunk driving accident can have serious legal consequences
What legal consequences can you expect after an accident involving drunk driving? We’ll be explaining the drunk driving penalties below. You’ll also likely be issued multiple traffic citations on the spot.Inattentive driving is one of the most common citations officers issue. A second could be for driving in an area other than your own. An officer can issue a reckless driving ticket to the driver if the situation is more serious. Underage drivers could face additional charges such as possession of alcohol.
Is it possible to be charged with drunk driving in an accident?
Until they stop your car, the police won’t know that you are operating while intoxicated. To stop your car, the police must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are violating the law. This does not apply to cases where you are involved in a car crash. The police will arrive on the scene to investigate and, if they find any signs of intoxication, change the focus of the investigation to DWI/DUI. There are many factors that can influence how a lawyer handles a DUI/drunk driving case.
You face the following penalties if you are charged with drunk driving (not including an incident).
- DWI/DUI First offense – $150 to $300 in fines, 6–9 months driver’s license revocation, and no time in jail
- Second offense DWI/DUI: $350 – $11,150 in fines; 12-18 month driver’s license revocation; 5 days – 6months jail
- Third Offense DWI/DUI Fines: $600 to $2,000, 2-5 year license suspension, 45 days to 1 year in prison
- Fourth offense DWI/DUI This is a felon. Fines up to $10,000, 2-4 year driver’s license revocation, 60-days imprisonment;
- Fifth offense DWI/DUI– $600 to $10,000 fines; 2-3 year driver’s license revocation; 6 months to 10 years imprisonment
Two things are required by the government to support a conviction for operating while under the influence.
- First, you drove a motor vehicle on public roads.Importantly, “public roadway” means any road that is open to drivers.
- Second, the vehicle was operated while you were under the influence.
Subsequent DWI/DUI Charges
Recognize that the penalties for drunk driving offenses increase as you get more. The first offense does not carry a jail sentence. A mandatory minimum of five days is required for a second offense. The fourth and subsequent offenses constitute felonies. A felony conviction can lead to time in prison. Minnesota treats subsequent DUI offenses with more seriousness as the number increases.
DUI accidents with injuries vs. those without injuries
It is important to note that there are no differences in the penalties for an individual facing a DWI/DUI offense and an individual facing a DWI/DUI accusation after an incident that did not cause injuries. The penalties rise when there is an injury or death.
DUI accidents resulting in injuries
DWI/DUI inflicting injury is a misdemeanor offense if the defendant has not been convicted of DWI/DUI. Maximum penalty is one year in county jail, and maximum fines are up to $2,000.00. This charge comes with a minimum mandatory penalty of 30 days in jail.
causing injury if the defendant has been convicted of a DWI/DUI in the past. DWI/DUI with prior DWI/DUI offenses or chemical refusal is a Class H felony. A Class H felony can result in a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment, $10,000.00 fines or both. This offense does not carry a mandatory minimum penalty.
Final note: causing great harm by DWI/DUI is a Class F felony, which can lead to up to 12.5 year imprisonment, $25,000.00 fines, or both. This offense is distinct from the previous offenses due to the use of the “great bodily harm” language. The following is how great bodily harm can be defined:
Great bodily harm is any injury that causes death or permanent disfigurement or causes permanent or prolonged impairment or loss of function in any organ, body member, or other serious injury.
What happens if someone is killed in a DUI crash?
This is, without doubt, the most dire situation a drunk driver could face. The court will often advise a drunk driver that they are lucky that someone did not die as a result of their actions at sentencing. Homicide is DWI/DUI is a Class D felony, which can lead to up to 25 years imprisonment, fines up to $100,00.00, or both. The conviction comes with severe penalties for the driver and a significant social stigma.
What should I do next?
Are you involved in an accident involving drunk driving? These are the most important steps. We have already explained what you should do. We’ll assume that you are out of jail. Next, contact the best drunk driving defense lawyer in your area. This individual will help you navigate the difficult process.
Contact Ambrose Law to speak with one our drunk driving defense attorneys