DUI Involving Accidents
Indiana law now imposes different requirements on law enforcement in cases where a dui involving an accident/injury has been suspected. For example, in traffic accident cases where hospitalization or another vehicle is involved, a blood draw requirement will now often trump the standard breath test procedure as conducted within a conventional drunk driving case investigation not involving an accident. Consequently, one in a traffic accident carries the risk of a compelled blood draw producing evidence of prior drug usage within the individual’s bloodstream subjecting the driver to additional criminal penalty whether or not driver impairment can be tied to the identified illegal drugs.
Where any accident is involved, at a later date and time the individual driver subjected to dui prosecution may later receive notice from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, (BMV) to provide, “Proof of Financial Responsibility,” or in other words, car insurance, carried on the vehicle at the time of the accident. Failure to provide such documentation to the Indiana BMV that the driver in question had valid car insurance at the time of the accident will result in a seperate license suspension to that imposed by a court should a dui conviction later be imposed.
Beyond conventional dui penalties, drunk driving offenses involving accidents are considered an “aggravating” factor to potentially increase penalties beyong the dui punishment itself. For example, hit and run offenses where dui is alleged or dui causing serious bodily injury or death are the types of cases where the circumstances behind the accident alleged are used to increase the range of potential incarceration and duration of drivers license suspensions.
Even in instances of first time offenses, a dui conviction causing injury or death are felony offenses with a punishment of up to eight years imprisonment. Potential minimum license suspension in such cases can range from two to five years. In property damages cases where dui is alleged in combination with leaving the scene of a property damage accident, unless the property damage amount is lower than a couple of hundred dollars, an additional license suspension will be imposed by the Indiana BMV upon conclusion of the dui case in criminal court. This particular property damage suspension ensnares many unsuspecting clients whose lawyers are usually unaware of this specific property damage license suspension as it is often not known by those inexperienced in this field of law or addressed within the dui sentencing proceedings.
Unlike the standard dui arrest procedure where an arrest is made at the scene of a traffic stop, one investigated for a hit and run where an individual has been killed or injured may require immediate legal counsel during the course of an investigation. It is in this crucial timeframe where an experienced attorney can help investigate all options, amd most importantly, shield one under suspicion from ill advised recorded or wriitten statements that may be taken out of context to one’s later legal peril.
Because of the severe criminal sanctions such cases require, please reach out for my help even if unaware of an ongoing investigation against you or one you care for. Pre charging deliberations in these cases between a top defense attorney and law enforcement can often go a long way toward containing an otherwise out of control legal situation one cannot recover from. All calls and discussions with me are completely confidential. When in need, you can feel confident that you can confer with me at no charge and with experienced legal guidance you can count on.