DUI with Serious Bodily Injury

Nearly 2,000 alcohol-related injury accidents occurred statewide, according to an annual report released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you or someone you love has recently been charged with DUI with serious bodily injury (SBI), you’re certainly not alone.

Driving under the influence is punished harshly in Florida, and the penalties increase drastically if drunk driving results in serious bodily injury. A DUI with serious bodily injury is charged as a felony, and you could be facing time in prison if you’re unable to defend against the charges. A qualified DUI defense attorney can fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.


Defense Attorney for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Treasure Coast, FL

Facing charges for DUI with serious bodily injury? It is in your best interest not to speak with law enforcement officials until you’ve retained an experienced attorney. Any information you provide to the police can and will be used against you at trial, so you should exercise your right to remain silent.

Call Meltzer & Bell at (772) 291-2534 or fill out our short online form to set up a time to talk to us. One of our DUI defense attorneys will schedule a free consultation to review the details of your situation and point you in the right direction. Our team represents clients across the Treasure Coast area, including places like Stuart, Port St. Lucie, and Fort Pierce in Martin County and St. Lucie County. You can speak with someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now.


Overview of DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Treasure Coast


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Elements of a DUI with Serious Bodily Injury Charge in Florida

Serious bodily injury is defined by Florida Statute 316.1933(2)(a) as physical injury of any person which leads to a serious risk of death, disfigurement, or loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body. The infliction of serious bodily injury on another can have life-changing consequences, which is why Florida charges this crime as a third-degree felony.

When someone is under investigation for a DUI with serious bodily injury, Florida Statute 316.1933(1)(a) authorizes an officer to gather a blood sample for a chemical test to determine the suspect’s blood-alcohol content (BAC). The test results will be used by the prosecutor to attempt to prove that the driver was operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance. If the prosecutor can prove that the driver’s impaired driving caused or contributed to the serious bodily injury of another person, it’s likely that the driver will be convicted.


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Treasure Coast Penalties for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury

Defendants who are convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury face a severe sentence in Florida. Maximum penalties for this crime include imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000. Depending on the extent of injuries caused by the accident, it’s possible for someone convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury to be sentenced to prison for several years, even if they don’t have a previous criminal record.

Prior DUI convictions will result in an enhanced sentence if the offender is convicted again for this crime. Florida law requires that all second-time DUI offenders must have an ignition interlock device installed, at their own expense, on every vehicle they own, lease, or drive regularly. This device prevents the vehicle from being started unless the driver blows into the device to verify that they have not consumed alcohol.

In addition to fines and prison time, a driver convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury will have their driver’s license suspended or revoked by the court. If the driver is sentenced to jail or prison time, their suspension or revocation won’t go into effect until they have completed their sentence.


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Additional Resources

Driving under the influence; penalties | Florida Statutes 316.193 – The Florida Legislature publishes the full text of the laws governing the act of driving under the influence and associated penalties on its official website. Visit this link to refer to the legal definition of driving under the influence as well as the prescribed punishments for repeat offenses.

Traffic Crash Facts | Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles – Each year, Florida’s governmental body that oversees roads and vehicle operation publishes a report collecting statistics about traffic accidents in the state. This 2016 report provides insight into how widespread the problem of vehicle collisions is, including accidents involving drugs and alcohol.


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Defense Lawyer for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Treasure Coast, FL

The laws and penalties for drunk driving charges involving serious bodily injury are both complex and severe. If you’ve been charged with DUI with serious bodily injury, it is in your best interest not to face these charges on your own. Meltzer & Bell defends clients across Treasure Coast, including Jensen Beach, Sebastian, and Palm City in Martin County and St. Lucie County.

Contact Meltzer & Bell by phone at (772) 291-2534 or by completing our online form. We are available to schedule a free consultation to review your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Everybody deserves a good defense, and we can fight aggressively on your behalf to avoid the maximum penalties you may otherwise be facing by yourself. Call us today to get started.


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