DUI Accidents in Tampa, Florida

Being arrested for driving under the influence is never a simple matter. It, however, can be aggravated if you are found to be drinking and driving after being in a car accident. Informally referred to as a DUI accident, any car crash involving a driver who is suspected to have been driving under the influence can cause extreme complexities. Even in cases where the driver was not the cause of the accident, they may come under suspicion or be found guilty just because they have traces of alcohol in their system. It is therefore imperative that no time is wasted in getting the involvement of a high-quality attorney who can help you deal with the complications to ensure that your legal rights are protected to the full extent of the law.

Understanding the Burden of Proof

In any criminal case, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution - not the defendant. This is because, according to the Sixth Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, "the proof lies upon him who affirms...since, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof." Therefore, if you find yourself facing criminal charges of a DUI accident or DUI with injury, it will be your responsibility to defend against the allegations.

It will be the burden of the prosecution to prove the following:

  • You were driving the vehicle;
  • You had a BAL over 0.08 percent or were impaired;
  • You caused the car accident;
  • The victim was injured; and
  • Their injuries were caused by the accident you caused.

About DUIs Causing Serious Bodily Injury

Per Florida Statutes §316.1933, serious bodily injury is defined as any injury that causes a physical condition that creates a risk of death, personal disfigurement, as well as the risk of a loss or impairment of any bodily member or organ function. Therefore, a serious bodily injury could be dismemberment, a spinal cord injury or even traumatic brain injury. If someone involved in the accident suffered this level of catastrophic injury, it will create a different level of complications for your case. For example, any DUI that resulted in a serious bodily injury will allow for law enforcement officers to use reasonable force to require a person to submit to a blood test to determine their blood alcohol level at the time of the accident.

This, however, can enter into a significantly gray area of the law. The law only provides guidelines for what is considered to be a serious bodily injury - not a solid outline of the types of injuries that qualify. Therefore, it is often left up to the judgment of the arresting officer. Unfortunately, these judgment calls are not always accurate. The court dealt with such a matter in State v. Schreiber , where the arresting officer took a forced draw after he failed to read the defendant her rights under the Implied Consent law. It was later determined in the District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District that the two fractured ankles did not qualify as "serious bodily injury." The resulting blood draws were therefore suppressed.

Why You Should Contact a Tampa DUI Lawyer

When your future is on the line, you simply cannot afford to work with an inexperienced attorney. You need someone on your side who will know the steps to take and will fight to protect them. With over two decades of aggregate experience, the legal team at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. knows what you are up against and will fight to preserve your future.

If you would like to learn more about our firm and the different steps that we can take to help protect your legal rights, do not hesitate to give us a call as soon as possible.

Our Commitment To You

When you work with us, we promise:

  • To Treat You
    With Respect
     
  • To Be Available When
    You Have Questions
     
  • To Work
    Hard For You
     
  • To Develop a Custom Defense Based on Your Case

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