||Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury|
Tampa Felony DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for felony driving under the influence ("DUI") with serious bodily injury contact an experienced Contact a Tampa DUI Attorney to discuss what you need to do right now to protect yourself from this serious accusation. At the Sammis Law Firm we handle Felony DUI cases, including Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury cases throughout the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Polk County, Hernando County and Pasco County, Florida.
Florida Penalities for Florida Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
Under Florida law, DUI with serious bodily injury is a third degree felony charge which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 5 years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000.00 fine. The charge is also serious because under Florida law without a downward departure the Court will impose a sentence pursuant to a sentencing scoresheet. Even assuming that you have no prior criminal history of any kind, DUI with serious bodily injury is a level 7 offense which adds 56 points to your scoresheet. If the court also finds that the victims injury is severe (which is common in most felony DUI cases with serious bodily injury cases) then an additional 40 points would be added.
When the total guideline sentence for this felony DUI charge is calculated under the Florida Scoresheet for the Criminal Punishment Code, the minimum prison sentence for someone with no prior record charged with this offense would be 4 years and three months in Florida State Prison. If you have any other charges on your criminal record, the punishment can be even more severe.
Hire an Aggressive and Experienced Tampa DUI Attorney
For all of these reasons, it is important to aggressively fight the charges at every stage of the case to avoid a conviction. In many of these cases the driver is also injured in the accident, and the police take a blood draw at the scene, in an ambulance, or at the hospital. In certain circumstances, the police may take a blood draw while you are unconscious.
In fact, many people do not realize that Florida law allows the police to take a sample of your blood using reasonable force when the police have probable cause to think that a person drove a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and caused another person to be seriously injuried in the accident. Many of these cases hinge upon whether the blood test results are admissible at trial, because with out the blood test results, many of these cases are difficult to successfully prosecute.
"Serious bodily injury" is a term of art used repeatedly through the Florida criminal statutes. Florida law defines serious bodily injury as an injury to any person that causes the loss or impairment or function of a body part or organ, serious personal disfigurement, or the substantial risk of death. Unless the police officer that took the blood had probable cause that serious bodily injury occurred, no forced blood draw is allowed.
In other cases, the police may compel the hospital to release blood samples taken for medical purposes. Many technical defenses can be used when the police attempt to analyze blood taken for medical purposes because hospital use serum blood for medical testing purposes, while analysis of blood for law enforcement purposes is suppose to be limited to whole blood. Serum blood is less reliable than whole blood for determining a person's blood alcohol content.
If you DUI case in Florida involves a blood test, your attorney will need to contest the test results and possibly order another test taken from the sample from an independent laboratory. Law enforcement laboratories use gas chromatography to test the blood sample.
Your attorney can file motions to suppress the blood results on many grounds including:
- Suppression of the blood results because the arrest and seizure of evidence was made without probable cause that a crime had occurred; and
- Suppression of the blood results because of problems with the blood withdraw, storage, testing, analysis or calibration of equipment at the toxicology laboratory that analyzed the blood which is required to follow rules promulgated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Many technical defenses exist in a case in which the driver's blood was drawn after an accident. An mistake made by the law enforcement officer investigating the case may result in the suppression of evidence.
Police Interrogation after a Florida DUI with Serious Injury Investigation
The police may attempt to question you at the scene, in the ambulance or in the hospital about the circumstances leading up to the accident. Anything you say can and will be used against you. If you retain an attorney early in the case, the attorney can assist you in dealing with the police. An attorney is often in the best position to present your side of the story and favorable evidence about you and the incident to the police on your behalf.
Three Year Minimum Driver License Revocation for a Felony DUI Conviction
In addition to the penalties discussed above, a conviction for DUI with serious bodily injury will result in a minimum three year suspension or revocation of your Florida driver's license. That three year driver's license revocation does not begin until after you have finished any period of incarceration, jail or prison.
Contact a Tampa Felony DUI Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been arrested for felony DUI with serious bodily injury after a car crash, contact an experienced Tampa DUI attorney that handles Florida felony DUI with serious bodily injury cases in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Plant City, Dade City, New Port Richey, Bartow and the counties of Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Manatee County, and Sarasota County.
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