DUI with Property Damage

If you were driving a vehicle involved in a crash that resulted in property damage, then you can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)(1). As a first degree misdemeanor, even a first offense is punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail, although cases are typically resolved with no jail time.

The minimum mandatory penalties for a DUI with property damage include 12 months probation to complete DUI school plus any recommended follow-up treatment, a $500-$1,000 fine, ten (10) day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used in the DUI, 50 hours of community service, and a 6 month-12 month driver’s license suspension.

The minimum mandatory penalties are more serious if a child was in the vehicle, if the BAC level was .15 or above, or if you have a prior DUI conviction.

Cases involving property damage are unique because special defenses exist in these cases. Those defenses might include whether:

  • any witness can identify the person who was driving or sitting behind the wheel;
  • statements should be suppressed under the accident report privilege; and
  • injuries from the accident cause the observed impairment instead of impairment caused by drugs or alcohol.

The charge might be reduced at least one level to a simple DUI after it is shown that all restitution was paid for any damages after the accident. Even better, the case might be reduced two levels to “wet reckless driving” so that a DUI conviction can be avoided.

When it comes to a reduction to reckless driving, if the reckless driving caused property damage, it can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor under Section 316.192(3)(b)(1).

Of course, the best result is getting the prosecutor to drop the charge, getting the charges dismissed by the court, or getting a “not guilty” verdict at trial.

Attorneys for DUI with Property Damage in Tampa, FL

After an arrest for DUI causing property damage, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.

Our main office is in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County, FL. We also have a second office in New Port Richey in Pasco County which is located directly across from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

The DUI defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, are experienced in fighting the unique types of cases involving a DUI crash causing property damage.

These types of DUI cases can involve a breath, blood, urine test, or the refusal to submit to testing. Related charges often include “leaving the scene of the accident” or “hit and run.”

If anyone is injured in the crash, the state might be able to charge the offense as a felony DUI for causing serious bodily injury or death. The most serious penalties are reserved for cases involving a fatality in a DUI manslaughter case.

Click here to read more about our DUI Case Results.

Contact us to find out more about defenses that can be used in your case. Contact the attorneys in our office to discuss the case over the phone or in the office. Call 813-250-0500.

DUI Property Damage under Florida Statute 316.193(3)(c)(1)

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) causing property damage or non-serious personal injury is a serious criminal offense with serious criminal penalties under Florida Statute 316.193(3)(c)(1).

Even for a first DUI, if the driver was DUI and causes or contributed to a crash causing property damage or non-serious personal injury, then even greater penalties must be imposed.

Those minimum mandatory penalties include up to 12 months in jail, a higher fine, and the mandatory ignition interlock device. Other special conditions of probation include a driver’s license revocation, vehicle immobilization, community service, DUI school, and recommended follow-up treatment.

The offense of DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE OR PERSONAL INJURY (TRAF1028) is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.

Elements of the DUI Property Damage Charge

In order to prove the crime of driving under the influence causing property damage or any non-serious injury, the prosecutor for the State of Florida must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle;
  2. As a result of operating the vehicle, the defendant caused or contributed to causing injury to another OR damage to the property of another;
  3. While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, the defendant either:
  • was under the influence of an alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that the defendant’s normal faculties were impaired; or
  • had a blood or breath alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath (often called the “DUBAL”).

Florida DUI laws define the term “normal faculties” as including but not being limited to the ability to walk, talk, see, hear, make judgments, judge distances, act in emergencies, drive an automobile, and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.

Enhanced Penalties for DUI Property Damage

For any DUI with property damage, enhanced penalties apply if one or more of the following elements are proven:

  1. The defendant had a blood or breath alcohol level (BAC) of .15 or higher while driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle; or
  2. The defendant was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years at the time of the driving under the influence.

The penalties can also be enhanced if the driver has a prior DUI conviction. If the driver left the scene of the crash in a hit and run case, additional charges can result.

Double Jeopardy for DUI and DUI with Property Damage

Even if you are charged with both DUI and DUI with property damage, double jeopardy typically prohibits the imposition of judgment and sentence for both offenses. Because of this double jeopardy prohibition, the criminal offense of DUI is wholly subsumed within DUI with property damage. §775.021(4), Fla. Stat.

In such a case, the judgment must be entered only for the greater of the two offenses, which is DUI with property damage. A sentencing, the “simple” DUI, would be dismissed by the Court as violating double jeopardy.

Double jeopardy applies because the crime of DUI is a degree variant of DUI with property damage. To prove all elements of DUI with property damage, the State must prove DUI plus the additional element of property damage, but there is no element of DUI not included in DUI with property damage.

In State v. McCloud, 577 So. 2d 939, 941(Fla. 1991), the court found the double jeopardy prohibition was violated when the greater offense necessarily includes the lesser offense.

In State v. Weller, 590 So. 2d 923, 925 (Fla. 1991), the court concluded a crime constitutes a necessarily lesser included offense if the defendant cannot possibly avoid committing the offense when the other crime is perpetrated.

An exception to this rule might apply if the State alleges DUI with non-serious injury and a separate count of DUI with property damage.

Statute of Limitations for DUI Cases with a Crash

The statute of limitations for DUI crimes depends on the type of crime charged, including:

  • for a DUI with property damage charged as a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)(1), the statute of limitations is two (2) years;
  • for a DUI with serious injury charged as a third (3rd) degree felony under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)2, the statute of limitations is three (3) years;
  • for a DUI manslaughter charged as a second-degree felony under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)3a, no time limit is imposed under Florida’s statute of limitations.
  • for a DUI manslaughter with a failure to render aid charged as a first-degree felony under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)3b(ii), there is no limit imposed under Florida’s statute of limitations.

Additional Resources

Statistics from NHTSA on DUI Crashes – Read more about statistics and studies on the impact of DUI cases involving a crash causing damage to another person’s property, such as another vehicle, during a traffic accident.

DUI with Property Damage in Pasco County – Learn more about DUI cases prosecuted at the courthouse in New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County after a crash involving property damage or personal injury. Because a property damage DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor, the penalties can be harsher unless the offense is dropped or reduced to less serious charges such as reckless driving.

Hiring a Lawyer for DUI with Property Damage in Tampa

If you have been arrested for DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE OR PERSONAL INJURY (TRAF1028) or DUI WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE OVER 0.15 (TRAF1014), in Hillsborough County, FL, then contact an experienced Tampa DUI Lawyer to discuss your case today.

Whether your case involves a breath test, blood test, urine test, or refusal to submit to testing, we can help.

If your DUI case involved a crash with property damage, the crime is charged under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)(1). You can be charged with your normal faculties were impaired or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at .08 or above at the time of driving.

Contact us to find out more about the enhanced minimum mandatory penalties if you were DUI and caused a crash with property damage or personal injury to another.

At Sammis Law Firm, our experienced DUI defense attorneys represent men and women charged with the serious misdemeanor offense in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, and the surrounding areas of Tampa Bay.

With offices in Tampa in Hillsborough County, New Port Richey in Pasco County, and Clearwater in Pinellas County, we are here to help.

Contact us to discuss your case with an attorney today.

Call 813-250-0500.

This article was last updated on Friday, June 9, 2023.