DUI Accidents and Criminal Charges

by Katie Hewatt on August 29, 2012

(US law and generally) While most drinking and driving offenses are considered misdemeanor crimes, there are instances where criminal charges are tacked on if an alcohol-related accident occurs. Drinking and driving is a serious offense that puts not only the driver at-risk, but also other innocent drivers and passengers. Alarming statistics in 2009 released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that one-third of all of the crash fatalities that happened in the country were caused by a driver who was impaired. With the DUIs and DUI crashes on the rise, the courts are buckling down and imposing serious fines and punishments for drivers who cause accidents while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What is Being Done to Reduce DUI Accidents?

Many areas are hosting programs to inform people in the community about the dangers of drinking and driving. From lectures in classes to community outreach programs, there are a number of different actions that can be taken to keep drivers safe on the road. One of the biggest deterrents that is being enforced in courts around Buffalo is the criminal penalties that drunk drivers will face if they are convicted of causing damage or bodily injury as a result of drinking and driving. These criminal charges should not be taken lightly and the penalties can range from fines to incarceration.

Criminal Penalties You May Face

Our Buffalo criminal defense attorney warns that if you are convicted of criminal charges from a DUI accident, you could be labeled as a felon your entire life. It is important to understand what types of charges you could be facing before you decide to get behind the wheel if you are intoxicated. The most serious charges you can face for driving under the influence is manslaughter. Manslaughter charges can be raised if you cause a fatality in the accident.

If you are lucky enough to avoid a fatal accident, you can face other serious charges for causing injury or damage. The injuries do not have to be serious to face felony DUI charges. The injuries can be major or minor and you must take the situation seriously if you want to maintain your freedom. If you have already been charged with a DUI accident causing bodily injury, it is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney right away.

How Will Your History Affect How You Are Charged?

It is important to understand that you could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on your criminal past and the specifics of the accident. If the victim in the accident suffers long-term injuries, other felony charges can be added to your case. This is why contacting a criminal defense attorney is so important. If you face misdemeanor criminal charges, you will spend up to a year in jail and will be fined up to $1000 on your first DUI conviction. If you are charged with a felony, you will receive time in prison ranging between 1 and 30 years.

If you have been charged with a DUI accident, make sure that you protect your freedom by hiring an experienced and aggressive defense lawyer. The conviction can change your life and affect your future employment opportunities. Do not jeopardize your future and hire a lawyer who can help you lower your charges and fines.

Katie Hewatt is a legal researcher and contributing author for Thomas Trbovich, a Buffalo criminal defense attorney who provides personalized attention to every client. The Law Offices of Thomas Trbovich have established relationships with judges and prosecutors and can often get them to see that our client is a good person and has just made a mistake.

Katie Hewatt

Katie Hewatt

Katie Hewatt

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