If you had a few drinks at a party, got in your car to drive home, and another driver ran a red light and T-boned you, what happens next? The laws can be complex when it comes to issues like these. While you may not have been at fault for the accident (and your intoxication didn’t cause the accident), you have technically still broken the law by driving under the influence.
If you have been in an accident you did not cause after drinking alcohol, pay close attention to these tips. They could help you achieve the best outcome.
Stay at the Scene
You may be tempted to flee the scene because you have had a few drinks. But if you do flee, you may be charged with a hit and run on top of a DUI. This could also instill prejudice in a jury or judge into believing you were at fault for the entire accident.
Cooperate With an Investigation
One of the first things that happens at the scene of an accident is an investigation. You may be tempted not to cooperate, but you could face legal consequences if you don't. While you do not have to agree to the field sobriety test, implied consent laws indicate you must participate in testing of your BAC.
Your blood alcohol content (BAC) will come into play during this investigation. If you were within the BAC limit of 0.08%, you may not face legal charges for a DUI.
Even if your BAC is higher than 0.08%, it may be evident that you did not cause the accident. Perhaps you were rear-ended or had dash cam footage of the accident, for instance. You may still face DUI charges, but you could escape the penalties for causing death or serious injury in a car accident. You may also escape a personal injury lawsuit in the future.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
You need legal help if you are charged with a DUI, because the consequences of these charges are so steep. You do not want to have a DUI on your criminal record.
If this will be your first DUI offense, you may face up to one year in jail and a 90-day license suspension. You may also be forced to pay fines ranging from $500 to $2,000. You may also face mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, which prevents you from starting your car without breathing into a breathalyzer first.
A second offense for DUI prompts a jail sentence between five days to one year. Your license may also be revoked for one year. Fines may amount to more than $5,000. And, again, you will have an ignition interlock device.
Subsequent offenses may require a minimum jail sentence of 60 days. You may also owe $10,000 in fines in addition to facing three-year driver's license revocation and have an ignition interlock device for three to six years depending on the circumstances involved.
Keep in mind that if the accident resulted in serious injury or death of another person, you may face severe consequences, including charges of homicide. You could face a prison sentence if found guilty of these charges.
Cases like yours are not clear-cut, so you need legal assistance. Legal professionals understand Alabama's DUI and car accident laws, and you can rely on their assistance.
Do you have questions about facing a DUI after being involved in a car accident? Simms & Associates will take a look at your case. Call today to see how you can work with our team of criminal defense attorneys who fight aggressively to defend your rights.