People have been drinking alcohol with friends, family and their coworkers for thousands of years. It wasn’t until recently when the automobile became an American staple, that drinking became such a dangerous endeavor.
On foot, the only one that you’re likely to harm while under the influence is yourself, unless you’re operating heavy machinery. Once you climb behind the wheel, you’re surrounded by thousands of pounds of steel and you can do a great deal of harm if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Given the fact that driving is an American way of life as is drinking, each state across the country has established stiff anti-drinking and driving laws and Florida is no different. Get arrested for a simple DUI where no one else was hurt, you’ll face misdemeanor charges, even if you crashed into a parked car or drove into a building or light pole (accident causing property damage only).
On the other hand, if you seriously injure another person while you’re driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a chemical substance, you’re looking at felony charges, even if you had no intention of hurting anybody else, or if it was your first DUI offense.
Under Florida law, if while driving under the influence, you cause serious bodily injury to another person, you would be guilty of a third degree felony, punishable by:
- A fine not to exceed $5,000
- Up to 5 years in prison
If someone else was killed as a result of your driving under the influence, you face DUI manslaughter charges under Section 316.193(3) of the Florida Statutes, which is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000, or up to 15 years in prison, or both.
If you were involved in a DUI accident in Miami involving serious bodily injuries or a fatality, I urge you to contact my firm for help. You never know which DUI defense strategies are available until you seek the advice of an experienced DUI defense attorney such as myself.