When A DUI Causes Injuries
The criminal and vehicle administrative consequences of a DUI Charge can follow you for years to come, but the stakes might be higher if someone was seriously hurt in the accident. If you were arrested for OUI and are facing the criminal charges for that, you might also find yourself in the midst of a civil lawsuit over personal injury, too. These are separate cases. For your criminal case, however, the penalties might be worse because of any accident that caused a big injury or death.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer if An Injury Happened?
Being accused of an OUI is an unwanted and uncomfortable experience in and of itself, but if the stakes are raised because police officers or someone else alleges that your OUI incident caused a crash in which another person sustained bodily injury, it is essential that you retain criminal defense help immediately. Only a knowledgeable OUI lawyer will be prepared to help defend you against these devastating charges that can follow you for many years to come. The stakes get much higher immediately once someone alleges that bodily injury has happened because of an accident.
What Does the Commonwealth Have to Prove?
The Commonwealth is responsible in these OUI cases for proving beyond reasonable doubt that you are operating the motor vehicle in question on a public way and that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a reckless or negligent manner that caused serious bodily injury to someone else. If the prosecution is unable to prove all of those various elements, except for recklessness or negligence, you could be charged with misdemeanor OUI with serious bodily injury.
The penalties for OUI that causes serious bodily injury in Massachusetts at the felony level have mandatory minimums, which include six months in jail and up to 10 years in state prison. Felony sentences also carry higher fines of up to $5,000. The penalties for misdemeanor OUI causing serious bodily injury are also serious and can include fines and jail time. Because of these serious circumstances, you need to support yourself and your claim by retaining an experienced OUI Defense attorney you can trust.