How Do You Build The Defense When The DUI Accident Caused Bodily Injuries Or Death?

The first thing we would look at in these kinds of cases would be the nature of the injury to make sure it was properly charged. When determining the difference between an injury and a serious physical injury, one of the first things we would have to look at would be the medical records, so that we could review them and then maybe get a second opinion on those medical records. We would go over all that to make sure it was charged fairly and within the law.

After that, we would start looking at the other defenses. The police would have a reason to be there for a normal DUI that involved an accident, and they would have a reason to contact the driver, or my client. From there, we would go on and make sure the DUI investigation was properly done and that the officer administered and interpreted the standardized field sobriety tests correctly. There would usually be a video, so we would gather that video and make sure it matched the DUI report. After that, we would use scientific principles to analyze the chemical evidence against the driver, and we would see whether a blood draw had been done, because if there was a blood draw, then we would need to see whether the person who did the draw was certified; whether they did it properly; whether the evidence was stored after it was gathered and before it was transferred to the lab; whether it was sealed at the lab and whether the lab used proper procedures. We would also need to see whether the machines at the lab were working properly. Cases involving accidents or serious injury usually involve blood work because the state tends to believe they are more reliable.

At the end, we would try to attack all of that with science to make sure the number the state was planning to use against my client was somewhat reliable and we would try to make sure they had followed all the scientific principles to draw that alcohol out of that blood. This is something that bothers me about the way our lab system is set up, because they would typically draw two vials of blood, of 10 milliliters each. They would have 20 milliliters of blood, but they would only test a tear drop worth of that blood and then whatever number they got would be extrapolated per 100 milliliters of blood. There would be a lot of arguments in a blood test case which would usually be associated with injury and death cases. I would be able to get the case thrown out if there was any issue with the blood draw, an invalid DUI investigation or field sobriety test, because I would be able to use that against the state as a defense to either get the case thrown out or to get some kind of reduced charge that could possibly avoid jail or prison time.

Can Someone Who Caused An Accident, Have Contact With The Victim Or The Victim’s Family?

In my opinion, no, this would not be a good idea. The driver who was charged with causing the serious injury should not have contact with the victim’s family, although it would depend on the situation because they would definitely want to have contact with the victim if it was a relative or a family member. The person should not discuss the case or anything about it because that might be considered as witness tampering. If the accident involved a stranger or someone they had never met before, then I would suggest that the person not have any contact with the victim and that any and all contact should be made through the victim’s advocates because they would be there to deal with the victims and help them through their situation and get the best possible outcomes for them. The victim might even get really offended sometimes, which is something we would not want to do because we would not want to jeopardize the case at all, which is why I would suggest for the person who caused the accident, to not contact the victim.

Can You Get An Aggravated DUI Charge Reduced To A Less Serious Offense?

In most cases, we would be able to get an aggravated enhanced DUI reduced down. DUI can be very complex especially when talking about the science behind how the police got the blood and the alcohol number regarding the limit they would use, whereas I have actually seen a lot of it just come down to the victim. We would be able to get the charges reduced down if the victim was sympathetic, as in the case where I represented the lady who ran over her boyfriend, because the boyfriend really did not want her charged, he did not want her to go to jail or prison and that was what he told the prosecution. The prosecution took that into account as we went through the case and through negotiations so we were able to get that case reduced down.

I have handled other cases, where every time we had a court hearing, the victim showed up and wanted to be heard and always wanted to express how the accident had changed their lives and the life of their family and that they would never be the same. This is what aggravating kinds of victims do, but there would still have to be balance so we would just look for any kind of little mistake or loophole in the law, a medical record or anything we could use to get it reduced down. The prosecution would be interested in justice and making the victim whole. I have handled cases where before the case got too old, we had information about possible restitution and some cases, if there were medical bills, deductibles or property damage, we would enter that into negotiations and we would say, “Okay.  If we can get this deal, the client would pay everything within 30 days or 60 days”. The prosecution really takes these kinds of things into consideration and I think judges prefer to get cases resolved quickly so they could get the victim whole again.

Another technique we could use to get the charges reduced down is by seeing what the victim needed and how we could best accomplish that without admitting guilt while we were still in the negotiation phase of the case.

I have seen this happen and I have actually done it a few times myself.

For more information on Defending Aggravated DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (801) 477-5009 today.

Free Initial Consultation Get Help Now

Fight Your Utah Criminal Charge

Free Download