Accident DUI Resulting in Injury
Accident DUIs resulting in injuries can be charged under various Arizona statutes. Following such a collision, you might face field sobriety testing as well as chemical testing. The harshest penalties apply when someone is injured or killed after an accident involving impaired driving. As the driver, you may be charged with an aggravated DUI, aggravated assault, manslaughter, or another felony. A seasoned Phoenix DUI attorney can help you develop a defense strategy if you have been charged in connection with a drunk driving accident resulting in injury.Accident DUI Resulting in Injury
Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section (A.R.S.) section 28.1381, you can be convicted of a basic DUI if you drive: (1) under the influence of liquor, drugs, or vapor releasing substances that include a toxic substance, or your alcohol concentration level is at least .08 within 2 hours of driving or being in physical control of a car, or you are operating a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater. However, you can be charged with an aggravated DUI if you drive under the influence and an accident producing bodily injury or harm occurs. Often, when someone is injured in connection with an accident DUI, a felony rather than a misdemeanor will be charged.
In addition to DUI charges, you may face other felony charges following an accident of this nature. You could be charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault, or a hit and run causing serious injuries. For example, if you’re involved in a hit and run that results in someone’s serious injuries, you could be convicted of a Class 2 felony if your drunk driving caused the accident.
Vehicular assault or manslaughter are covered by A.R.S. section 1204(A). If you use a dangerous instrument such as a car to seriously injure somebody, and you do so intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, you could face charges of vehicular aggravated assault. A prosecuting attorney takes aggravated assault charges that occur under these circumstances seriously.
Often, police pursue chemical testing for accident DUIs resulting in injury. If you are unconscious when the police find you and they suspect you drove drunk, they are allowed to ask for a warrantless, nonconsensual blood draw under A.R.S. section 28-1321. However, the blood draw could be unconstitutional if your rights were violated in the process of taking the blood.Penalties
The penalties you’ll face for an accident DUI resulting in injury will depend on the class of felony that’s charged. The most serious type of felony in this case would be a Class 2 felony, and it could involve 10.5 years of incarceration.
Sometimes an accident victim has injuries but later passes away. Where one or more fatalities result from an accident DUI, you could be charged with manslaughter. In order to obtain a conviction under these circumstances, the prosecutor will need to show that you recklessly caused another’s death. They may claim that you were reckless because you drove while intoxicated, and if you had a high blood alcohol concentration, they may be successful in making this argument.Defenses
Even when chemical testing produces adverse results, there may be strong defenses available in an accident DUI case. It may be possible to raise reasonable doubt about one or more elements of a charge. Sometimes, it’s possible to show that a defendant’s drunk driving didn’t cause the injury-producing accident, and use this as leverage to get the charges reduced. In other cases, it may be appropriate to look at the protocol or lab procedures used in connection with chemical testing arising out of an accident DUI to get the charges reduced or dismissed or to raise reasonable doubt.
The police are supposed to abide by your constitutional rights even if you are suspected of drunk driving that caused an injury-producing accident. If they violate your Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an illegal search and seizure — such as unlawful chemical testing after an accident — you may be able to move to suppress the evidence that was the result of an unconstitutional search.Accident DUI Attorney Serving Phoenix
If you are charged with an accident DUI resulting in injury in Phoenix, you may face harsh penalties. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can help you build a strong defense. Mr. Novak represents defendants charged with accident DUIs and other crimes in the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and throughout Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.