DUI-related accidents attract consequences that range from criminal to civil. If you cause or get involved in an accident, you need to be ready to face both types of consequences. It is vital to know the kind of consequences you can expect to face and be prepared for them.
This article is an ultimate guide to the criminal charges people involved in DUI accidents face. It will provide you with all you need to know about DUI-related accidents. We’ll focus on the potential criminal charges of conviction and the role DUI lawyers play during such lawsuits.
Here’s all you should know about DUI-related criminal charges:
Table of Contents
Differentiating between Criminal and Civil Proceedings
There’s so much to keep in mind when looking to learn about DUI-related cases. One of the things to note is that there are two kinds of consequences that you can face. These charges can be either criminal or civil. This section will focus on differentiating between them.
So what are criminal and civil charges?
Criminal charges are separate from personal injury lawsuits filed after an accident. If you are facing a personal injury lawsuit for causing an accident, the court might look into your conduct before and after the accident, and criminal charges may arise from the assessment.
For instance, driving under the influence by itself is a criminal offense. You will face penalties that are part of the criminal legal system if found guilty. This may range from the revocation of your driver’s license, getting fined, or serving a jail term, depending on your liability.
On the other hand, civil charges are usually completely unrelated to this process. Also, in DUI cases, the parties involved in a lawsuit have reversed roles. If you caused the accident, you become the complainant, while the other party injured in the process becomes the plaintiff.
Civil charges can be pressed if there are injuries or damages resulting from an accident. But then, criminal charges can be brought even if there are no damages resulting from the accident. Also, most DUI cases dismissed are at criminal charge level and not civil charge.
The best way to emerge a victor in such cases is by hiring a good lawyer. There are DUI lawyers who have experience and knowledge of the law. Finding one who has practiced in your state before will help. They will make it easy to get the best outcome from the lawsuit.
The Criminal Consequences of a DUI-Related Accident
Now you have a hint of what criminal charges are and how they differ from civil charges. It will be a great idea to go in depth into the criminal consequences of a DUI-related accident. In this section, we will look into what to expect if criminal charges are pressed against you.
Here are some of the consequences:
- Charges for First Offenders
This is the first criminal consequence you may face for a DUI offense. DUI lawsuits can lead to more severe consequences that no one wants to face. For instance, if you are a first offender, the law in some states will recommend that your license gets revoked for months.
Other consequences include stiff fines or even attending driver education school. You can also be asked to attend substance abuse counseling. All these will consume your time and cost you a little bit. Thus, you need to avoid them by staying sober while driving.
- Charges for Repeat Offenders
If you are a repeat offender, then things won’t get easier for you as far as criminal charges for DUI are concerned. The charges will depend on the situation and whether there are any damages. But then, it is worth noting that charges for repeat offenders are usually severe.
For instance, you risk going to jail if you are a repeat offender. You might also end up losing your license for years, or it could even be permanently. The best way to avoid such a situation is by putting up a good defense in court. You can prove that it is a false DUI lawsuit.
However, we must mention that dismissing cases of DUI as false isn’t easy. You will need experienced DUI lawyers to help you argue the case. Also, the evidence before the court will determine whether the charges will be dismissed and the lawsuit declared false.
What Happens When You Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?
There are many ways people try to avoid DUI convictions. But then, it is worth noting that the only way you can do this is by having a DUI lawyer argue your case in court. It is not uncommon to see people attempt to take shortcuts when looking to avoid a DUI conviction.
Some people believe that refusing a breathalyzer test can help them avoid charges. The reality is that this is a myth and it never works. In fact, refusing a breathalyzer test has its own consequences. One of them is that your license may be revoked automatically.
The police can also go ahead with filing a DUI lawsuit even if you refuse a breathalyzer test. Your appearance, behavior, speech, etc. can all be grounds for conviction. In short, the police have the right to press DUI charges against you using their judgment of the situation.
Your only way out will be to hire good DUI lawyers to help you out. They can do all they can to have the charges dropped or even reduced. For instance, the length of time your license will be revoked can be reduced. This also applies to any other consequences you’re facing.
A DUI lawsuit is the most probable step that follows an arrest for a DUI offense. Once you appear in court, the judge will sentence you depending on your situation and the evidence presented. If found guilty, there are various criminal and civil proceedings that will follow.
This post has been a guide toward the criminal charges that follow DUI-related incidents. It has explored everything you should know about these charges. These insights will help you take the right steps to see DUI cases dismissed or get the desired results from your DUI case.