Charges of DUI With Property Damage
Jessica Marksz needed a drink. That, she told Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies, was why she had left her car and walked to a nearby Publix Super Market on Thursday after a crash in which she is alleged to have driven the wrong way down a one-way street and hit a car.
Deputies weren’t impressed, especially when one caught up with her picking up a bottle of wine.
They arrested her on charges of DUI with property damage and leaving the scene of an accident. She was released later that day from the Palm Beach County Jail after on $3,000 bond.
Every year, impaired motorists cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $51 billion dollars in drunk driving property damage. With such staggering statistics, it’s no surprise that lawmakers are under enormous pressure to deter citizens from driving under the influence (DUI). Unfortunately for the thousands of drivers who are arrested for DUI each day, this means that a drunk driving conviction often carries a number of harsh penalties—including fines, a license suspension, and even jail time.
It is important to know that if you are involved in an alcohol-related auto accident, you will be responsible for any property damage that was caused by the collision. As a result of this liability, you may face both criminal and civil charges for drunk driving. What does that mean? In simple terms, you will have to pay for any damages caused by your impairment—and depending on the severity of the accident, that can easily cost you thousands of dollars or more.
In addition to personal liability, state DUI laws also determine liability for alcohol providers, such as restaurants, bars, and retailers. In some areas, the owner of such establishments can be held financially accountable if a patron is involved in an alcohol-related auto collision. The limitations of these laws vary greatly from one state to another, so you will need to check your laws in your area to determine who can be held legally accountable for property damage, as well as the type of damages an injured driver can seek.
If you were involved in an auto accident that was caused by your impairment, it is more important than ever to obtain legal representation. Source
If you have been charged with DUI resulting in property damage in Florida, you could receive potentially harsher punishments than just a basic driving under the influence (DUI) charge. With the experienced and competent DUI attorney, the following factors can be reviewed:
- Whether the vehicle was in your physical control, or if you were operating or driving the vehicle
- Whether your breath or blood was ever tested through chemical testing
- Whether you were injured in the accident and your field sobriety tests were impacted from the injuries causing the appearance of alcohol impairment
Key Factors in DUI Charges
In situations where DUI charges are filed against someone who has damaged or destroyed property, the individual is likely to face criminal and civil litigation. In most states, the laws associated with driving under the influence are more significant when an accident of any type occurs, including a property damage claim. Criminal penalties are even more significant if someone was hurt in the accident.
In addition to this, some property damage claims may be of a high enough value that the charge may be a felony charge. This may be brought against the individual if the damage value is high enough or the damage is to property and life. The consequences of such a case can have life altering effects, including:
- Significant files, often including the costs to repay any damaged property
- Jail time may be awarded, especially in felony cases
- Loss of license and driving privileges may also occur.
- The individual may be required to install an ignition interlock device on vehicles at their home.
- The individual may be ordered to rehab, addiction counseling or DUI courses
In many situations, the driver’s insurance company will pay for costs associated with the property damage, assuming the coverage the driver has is enough to do so. In some situations, the coverage will not be enough. At that point, the owner of the property damaged in the accident can file a civil lawsuit against the DUI driver. The individual may be ordered to pay for the damaged property and other penalties if deemed by a court of law that the individual is responsible for them. Source
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300 Se habla español.
Protecting your right to drive
Unless your request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest, you will lose your driver’s license. Even if your license is revoked, we can apply for a hardship license, which is usually immediately granted to you. We have never had a hardship license denied to one of our clients.