In many instances, a DUI charge falls within the class of a misdemeanor. However, the charge can change significantly when the party that was driving under the influence of alcohol injures someone. If you have a loved one that has been charged with a DUI and there are injuries involved, it's important you have an idea of the difficult road ahead.
As previously stated, DUI charges are often labeled as misdemeanors. This is especially the case if the arrest occurs without incident or it is the individual's first offense. However, when there are injures involved, an upgrade to a felony is often the outcome.
Unlike a misdemeanor, a felony doesn't just stay on their record longer, it will have a greater impact on their ability to move forward in life, such as gaining employment.
All Injuries Count
It's also a good idea to understand what types of injuries a DUI charge will consider. To put it in the simplest terms, both direct and indirect injuries will fall on the responsibility of the intoxicated driver. One example of this would be an intoxicated driver that slams into a vehicle in front of them.
If the driver of that vehicle then losses control and crashes into a pedestrian walking across the street, the driver charged with DUI would be responsible for the direct injuries sustained by the vehicle in front of them as well as the indirect injuries sustained by the pedestrian.
Unfortunately, there is no way to pinpoint the exact penalties that your loved one will face. The reason for this is that there are always different charges that accompany the circumstances of the crime. The best way to think of it is to simply consider the charge of DUI as a base charge. You then add the charge for the actual injuries caused. Next, other factors are considered.
For instance, did the incident happen within a school zone. An answer of yes would likely add even more charges. Your loved one's criminal record will also be taken into account. The more extensive the criminal history, the greater the possible penalty. This is true even if they have not been charged with a DUI, but some other criminal charge in the past.
If they have not done so yet, finding an attorney for your loved one becomes critically important in this type of situation. While there are no guarantees, an attorney like Kevin T Conway Esq Pc will work to ensure your loved one is treated within the means of the law and will work toward the best possible outcome.