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Ever year, thousands of motorists in the state of Florida are arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI. A percentage of these people face additional charges arising out of an accident that occurred while a motorist allegedly was operating a motor vehicle under the influence.
If you have been charged with DUI, arising out of an automobile accident, you need to understand what you face in this type of situation. You need to recognize the importance of taking a proactive stance in retaining a DUI defense lawyer.
DUI Charge and Prosecution
One of the types of charges you will face in the aftermath of a DUI arrest that involved an accident is prosecution for driving under the influence. The penalties associated with driving under the influence in Florida are progressive. By this it is meant that penalties become more severe after a first-time conviction for DUI.
Aggravation of DUI Charge
When an accident occurs and an allegation of intoxication is made, the DUI charge itself can be aggravated. What this means is that the potential sentence in the case will be more significant. This would hold true even in the case of a first time DUI prosecution and conviction.
DUI Manslaughter Prosecution
If another person was killed in an accident, and you were charged with driving under the influence, you face the prospect of being prosecuted for DUI manslaughter. DUI manslaughter represents a very serious type of criminal prosecution. The penalties upon conviction of DUI manslaughter are significantly more severe than those imposed in a basic DUI case.
Independent of being prosecuted in criminal court on a DUI charge in a case that involves an automobile accident, you also face the prospect of being sued in civil court. Indeed, if you cause an accident while you allegedly were impaired because of alcohol consumption, you almost certainly will face the prospect of civil litigation. Your DUI lawyer may have specific experience in representing clients in civil cases that arise out of a driving under the influence charge.
When charged with a DUI following a car accident, you need to ensure that you take a proactive stance to protect your legal rights. You cannot delay when it comes to seeking appropriate, experienced legal representation to protect all of your legal interests. This includes protecting your interests both in criminal and civil court, following a DUI arrest and car accident.