Philadelphia Vehicular Assault DUI Defense Attorney
In Philadelphia, penalties for a DUI are often severe. Defendants often have to pay steep fines and may lose their driver’s license. However, if an individual was involved in a DUI-related accident that injured another person, the consequences are much graver. These penalties become even more serious when the driver tries to flee the scene of the accident. A fun night out and a few drinks can quickly turn into a total nightmare.
If you were arrested and charged with aggravated assault with DUI, our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense lawyer is committed to getting your charges reduced or your case dismissed altogether. With more than 45 years of experience, our legal team possesses a pervasive knowledge of state laws and court proceedings to aggressively and adequately protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Call The Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171to set up a free and confidential legal consultation.
Charges for Striking Someone with Your Car During a DUI in Philadelphia
Driving while intoxicated is never a good idea. Unfortunately, after a night of heavy drinking, your better judgment is severely impaired, and getting behind the wheel of a car might not seem like a big deal. Driving drunk is not only dangerous for you but everyone else on the road. If the police stop you for a DUI, the consequences will not be fun. If you hurt someone while driving drunk, the penalties will be even harsher.
DUI offenses and penalties are contained within Chapter 38 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. Specifically, this chapter deals with driving while intoxicated and the associated penalties. However, if you injure another person during your DUI incident, you may also face additional charges for aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence. This is a far more serious crime as your DUI has now taken a violent turn.
The victim in this crime could be another driver, a pedestrian on the street, or a passenger in your own vehicle. This offense is connected to your DUI charge yet is a separate offense that carries its own unique penalties. If convicted, you will face penalties for both the DUI and the aggravated assault by vehicle. Other offenses, such as fleeing the scene of the accident, may add additional penalties.
If you are charged with aggravated assault in relation to a DUI incident, you should reach out to our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense lawyer.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault by Vehicle While Intoxicated in Philadelphia
The crime of aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence can be found under § 3735.1 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. In order to be convicted and sentence for assault under this statute, the driver must also be convicted for the DUI itself. If you are found not guilty of the DUI, you cannot be found guilty of the associated assault by vehicle. Prosecutors must also prove that the DUI was the cause of the vehicular assault. According to state law, negligently causing serious bodily injury to another person as a result of a DUI is considered a second-degree felony. This felony is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000. If a defendant is found guilty of this crime while driving without a license or on a suspended license, they may be sentenced to an extra term of no more than 2 years in prison.
Proving that the assault resulted from the DUI requires a showing of negligence on the part of the defendant. Negligence involves four crucial elements that must each be proven in court. First, the defendant must have had a duty of care. In an aggravated assault by DUI case, this usually refers to the duty owed by all drivers to drive in a reasonably safe and prudent manner. Second, the defendant must have done something to breach this duty. Prosecutors usually argue that the defendant breached their duty of care by driving while intoxicated. Driving while drunk is extremely dangerous and breaches the duty to drive safely. Third, there must be a causal link between the DUI and the injuries. Essentially, this means the injuries must have been caused by the DUI and not by some independent source. Finally, there must be actual injuries. If there are no injuries, there is no victim, and there is no crime if there is no victim.
Our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense lawyers will analyze your case to develop the best defense possible. We can help you fight your charges and defend your rights in court.
Committing Vehicular Assault During a DUI and Fleeing the Scene in Philadelphia
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a DUI-related accident, you are legally required to stop your vehicle and remain at the scene until the police arrive. When you know you may have just broken the law, the prospect of facing the police is certainly frightening, and many people decide to take their chances and flee. This is a huge mistake. The police will absolutely track you down and bring you into custody. When they do, your penalties will be even worse. Contact our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense attorneys for help with your case.
Fleeing the scene of an accident will be charged at least as a misdemeanor of the first degree. Such a misdemeanor is punishable by no more than 5 years in prison. If someone other than you suffered serious bodily injury, the charges are upgraded. Fleeing the scene of an accident that resulted in serious bodily injuries may be charged as a third-degree felony. This offense may be penalized by a maximum prison term of 7 years. However, the statute also imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 90 days.
If you flee the scene of an accident and the victim dies, you may be charged with a felony of the second degree. This crime may be punishable by a maximum term of 10 years. The statute also imposes a mandatory minimum term of at least 3 years. However, if the victim dies, you will likely face homicide-related charges instead of aggravated assault charges.
If you hit a pedestrian or another vehicle while driving drunk and then fled the scene, reach out to our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense attorney immediately. We can help you assess the charges against you and understand the potential penalties you may be facing.
Defending Yourself Against Vehicular Assault Charges in Philadelphia
There is no singular way to defend yourself in court. The best defenses are tailored to the unique needs of the defendant and the case. Criminal charges for aggravated assault while driving under the influence can be complicated to deal with. A case where the driver has a lower blood alcohol content and the victim has somewhat less severe injuries may be easier to defend. At the very least, a prosecutor might be more willing to offer a plea agreement. However, cases with higher BACs and more severely injured victims become complicated.
Your best defense will depend on the details of your case. Speak with our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense attorney about your case, and we can strategize the best defense possible.
Contact Our Philadelphia Vehicular Assault DUI Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Our Philadelphia vehicular assault DUI defense lawyers can thoroughly investigate the scene, gather evidence, and determine whether law enforcement used proper protocols to develop an aggressive and relentless defense strategy, so you can get your life back on track. Call our DUI attorney in Philadelphia at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and request a free consultation today.