Because every instance of D.U.I. is a potential tragedy, law enforcement vigorously pursue cases of suspected D.U.I. While some D.U.I.-related accidents result in catastrophic loss, the majority of D.U.I. accidents are rather trivial, in which an individual or individuals suffer only minor damage. When an individual is accused of causing a D.U.I.-related accident, in which there is no serious bodily injury or death, the State files the charge of Driving Under the Influence (Injury to Person or Property). It is important to have an aggressive Weston DUI attorney on your side.
Unlike a standard charge of Driving Under the Influence, the crime of Driving Under the Influence (Injury to Person or Property) is a First Degree Misdemeanor, which carries with it the possibility of a 1-year jail sentence. The additional penalties for a D.U.I. (Injury to Person or Property) conviction depend upon whether the convicted individual has a prior conviction for D.U.I. For a first-time D.U.I. offender, the penalties include: a 6-month driver's license revocation, a possible $1,000 fine, 12 months of probation, and a 10-day vehicle immobilization.
Defendants accused of D.U.I. (Injury to Person or Property) can expect a dedicated prosecution of the alleged crime.
Frequently, there are specific legal issues which arise in the context of a D.U.I.-related accident. Unlike typical D.U.I. investigations, which begin with a traffic stop, many investigations of D.U.I.-related accidents are instigated by civilian witnesses, who call the police after the accident. As a result, the responding officer is typically not in a position to make his/her own, independent identification of who was driving. Rather, the investigation hinges upon a civilian “wheel-witness,” who presumably can identify the D.U.I. suspect for police. If the civilian “wheel-witness” is incapable of making a solid identification, the State’s entire case might fall apart.
Additionally, under Florida law, drivers involved in accidents have a statutory duty to provide information to responding law enforcement officers. However, individuals accused of criminal-wrongdoing also have a 5th Amendment right not to provide self-incriminating testimony against themselves. In order to accommodate an individual’s 5th Amendment rights with Florida’s statutory duty to provide information to law enforcement, Florida courts recognize the “Accident Report Privilege.” Under this privilege, a defendant’s statements made to law enforcement pursuant to Florida’s statutory accident report requirement are inadmissible in court. Consequently, if a law enforcement officer does not inform a defendant that the officer is switching the investigation from an accident investigation into a criminal investigation, none of the defendant’s statements are admissible in court.
Kevin F. Moot is a South Florida D.U.I. lawyer with extensive litigation experience. He represents clients in the tri-county area (Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County), and uses his knowledge as a former Palm Beach County D.U.I. prosecutor to craft effective defense strategies for his clients.
Individuals facing allegations of D.U.I. (Injury to Person or Property) suffer an automatic driver’s license suspension. The State provides only a 10-day window to challenge the suspension in an administrative hearing. The Law Office of Kevin F. Moot will prepare and file the appropriate paperwork to start the process of getting clients back on the road safely and legally.
The Law Office of Kevin F. Moot takes a goal-oriented approach to defending cases of D.U.I. (Injury to Person or Property). When faced with charges of D.U.I., it is imperative to develop and implement a plan of action that is tailored to your specific case. Call Attorney Kevin F. Moot to discuss what he can do to defend your case. We can be reached at (954) 371-0770.