There is a common misconception that if a drunk driver is involved in a car crash, that they were the ones responsible, but this isn’t always the case. For example, if an intoxicated driver was waiting at a red light and was rear-ended by someone who was sober, the drunk driver would not be at fault. Unfortunately, because many drivers who had a few too many drinks mistakenly believe they will be seen as the one at fault, they will often flee the scene of an accident, which can make the situation drastically worse. If you have been involved in an accident while driving under the influence, it is critical you stay at the scene and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What Happens When a Drunk Driver Gets in an Accident?
When a drunk driver has been involved in any type of accident, he or she will generally be charged with a DUI, even if the crash wasn’t his or her fault. If someone was injured or killed in the accident, things can become a lot more complicated. If the accident was caused by the intoxicated driver, the charges may be increased to a felony, which could result in a lengthy prison sentence. Additionally, many courts will require those convicted of drunk driving to pay restitution to any accident victims. Sentence increases and restitution do not apply though if the other driver caused the accident, which is why it is so important to only work with top attorneys if you have been involved in a car crash while intoxicated.
Are Drunk Drivers Always At Fault?
In many cases, the police will assume the drunk driver caused an accident if the blame is not automatically obvious. When you hire an attorney like Peter M. Liss to work on your case though, you may be able to prove the crash was caused by the other person with the aid of investigators and accident reconstruction expert. This can ensure that you will not face any of the enhanced DUI penalties associated with an accident that resulted in injury or death.
DUI Accidents and Felony Charges
Even if an accident was your fault, the judge or prosecutor has the discretion to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor and a DUI lawyer is critical in encouraging them to do so.
If you were involved in a car crash while drunk under the influence, but believe you were not at fault, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free consultation so you may discuss your situation. His main law firm office is located just across the street from the North County courthouse and jail off of the 78, while clients in more central areas of San Diego County can schedule a consultation at his Carmel Valley law office just off the I-5.
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