Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
If you have been arrested for Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, contact a Tampa DUI Attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to find out more about what you need to do today to protect yourself from this serious criminal offense. We represent men and women charged with felony DUI throughout Hillsborough County, including Tampa and Plant City, Florida.
Potential Punishment for DUI with Serious Bodily Personal Injury - Third Degree Felony
Serious Bodily Injury DUI is a serious offense because the maximum sentence is five (5) years incarceration in Florida State Prison and a fine of up to $5,000.00.
Florida Scoresheet for DUI with Serious Bodily Personal Injury
In many of these cases the prosecutor is seeking a long prison sentence because it is required by the sentencing scoresheet. Even for a person who had never been arrested the scoresheet will add 56 point for this level 7 felony. The prosecutor will also add another 40 points if the victim's injury is deemed to be "severe." Those points alone require a prison sentence of more than four (4) years unless a "downward departure" is obtained.
Definition of "Serious Bodily Injury"
The term "serious bodily injury" is defined as any injury to another individual that results in the impairment of a body part or organ, disfigurement or any substantial risk of death. In many of these cases a noticeable scar or other injury may be enough to submit the case to the jury.
Driver's License Revocation for a Minimum of Three Years is Required with a Conviction
Besides the period of incarceration, a conviction for this felony DUI offense in Florida also causes driver's license revocation for at least three years that does not begin until after any period of incarceration is completed, even for a first arrest with no prior record. The person convicted of a DUI with serious bodily injury with no prior DUIs may immediately apply for a hardship hearing after completing DUI school or the advanced driver improvement course.
If the person convicted of DUI with Serious Bodily Injury has any prior DUI convictions, then the revocation period is described below:
- Serious Bodily Injuny DUI Conviction within 5 Years of any Prior DUI Conviction: A minimum five (5) year revocation will be imposed. The driver may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after at least a 12 months. If the second conviction is outside of 5 (five) years of any prior DUI conviction, then a minimum three (3) year revocation will be imposed.
- Serious Bodily Injury DUI Conviction is Third DUI within 10 Years of any Two Prior DUIs: A minimum ten (10) year revocation will be imposed. The driver may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after twenty-four (24) months.
- Serious Bodily Injury DUI Conviction is Third DUI within 10 Years of any One Prior DUI: Minimum five (5) year revocation. Driver may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after twelve (12) months.
- Serious Bodily Injury DUI Conviction is the Third DUI but Outside of 10 years of any Prior DUI: Minimum three (3) year revocation.
- Serious Bodily Injury DUI Conviction is the Fourth DUI: Mandatory Permanent Lifetime Revocation with no possibility of a hardship reinstatement.
Special Defenses Available under Florida Law for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
- Accident Report Privilege -Privilege provided by Florida Statute to information provided during the course of an accident or crash investigation, especially for cases involving DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Tampa, often leads to statements made after the accident being excluded at trial;
- Field Sobriety Exercises - When a driver is asked to perform field sobriety exercises after a car accident, including DUI with serious bodily injury, the results are not accurate to the extend they are impacted by the driver being "shook up" or injured from the accident;
- Breath Test- if the air bags in the driver's vehicle were deployed during the accident many experts believe that this fact alone can cause the breath test machine to record a higher and inaccurate reading; and
- Wheel Witness - If you exited the vehicle after the accident before the police arrived on the scene, then they will have a more difficult time proving that you were the driver, particularly if you did not make any admissions that you were driving or if those admissions are thrown out under the accident report privilege.
Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney in Tampa
In a case for felony DUI with serious bodily personal injury it is particularly important to seek out the services of an experienced Tampa felony DUI criminal defense lawyer to assist you early in the case. At the Sammis Law Firm we provide free initial consultations to our potential clients which allows you the opportunity to sit down with an attorney at our office to discuss a strategy to fight this serious criminal offense. Call 813-250-0500 to begin your defense today.