DUI with Property Damage
The penalties for DUI are serious. If the DUI involves a crash on the roadway, then the penalties are even more serious, including up to 12 months in jail or on probation, a higher fine, and a requirement that an ignition interlock device is installed.
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;
- the defendant’s statements should be suppressed under the accident report privilege; and
- the defendant’s injuries from the accident cause the observed impairment instead of impairment from drugs or alcohol.
Our experienced DUI defense attorneys represent clients charged under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)(1) for DUI causing property damage in a crash on the roadway.
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 in Tampa, 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.
Click here to read more about our DUI Case Results.
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 or urine test or the refusal to submit to testing. Related charged 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.
Contact us to find out more about defenses that can be used in your case. Call the attorneys in our office at (813) 250-0500 to discuss the case over the phone or in the office.
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 is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.
Although the charges are more serious, many of these cases are reduced one level to simple DUI after it is shown that all restitution was paid after the accident. Many of these cases are reduced two levels to reckless driving so that a DUI conviction can be avoided. In some cases, the defendant will fight for an outright dismissal of the charges if no sufficient evidence supports the criminal accusation.
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:
- The Defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle;
- As a result of operating the vehicle, the defendant caused or contributed to causing injury to another OR damage to the property of another;
- 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:
- 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
- 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.
Statute of Limitations for DUI Cases with a Crash
The statute of limitations for DUI crimes depend 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, there is no limit 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.
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 DUI causing injury or property damage, 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 type of misdemeanor offense in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, and the surrounding areas of Tampa Bay. With offices in Tampa in Hillsborough County and in New Port Richey in Pasco County, we are here to help.
Call (813) 250-0500 to discuss your case with an attorney today.
This article was last updated on Friday, January 11, 2019.