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DUI with Property Damage

If you have been charged with DUI causing property damage, then contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. We represent clients charged under Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)(1) for driving under the influence causing property damage.

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The penalties are more serious for this charge. The charge is also unique because special defenses exist in these cases that often center around whether:

  • any witness can identify the person sitting behind the wheel;
  • the defendant's statements should be suppressed under the accident report privilege;
  • physical evidence seized by the officer should be suppressed; and
  • the defendant's injuries from the accident cause the observed impairment instead any consumption of drugs or alcohol.

Attorney for DUI with Property Damage in Tampa, FL

The DUI defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, are experienced in fighting the unique types of cases. These types of DUI cases can involve either a breath, blood or urine test. Related charged often include "leaving the scene of the accident" or "hit and run."

Call 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.

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). In fact, even if you have no prior record, DUI causing property damage or any non-serious personal injury is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in the county jail, in addition to the other statutory minimum punishments for DUI.

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. Additionally, 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 insufficient 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:

  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.

Enhanced Penalties for DUI Property Damage

The court imposes enhanced penalties if one 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

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.

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.

Hiring an Attorney for the DUI with Property Damage in Tampa

If you have been arrested for DUI causing injury or property damage contact an experienced Tampa DUI Lawyer to discuss your case today.

We 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.

Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case with an attorney today.

Car Crash Accident with Telephone Pole After a DUI

This article was last updated on Friday, November 17, 2017.