DUI Lawyer – Drunk Driving Accidents

While a DUI conviction typically results in large fines and a criminal record, or even jail time, drunk driving accidents often cause death or serious injury to the driver, passengers, or other motorists. A number of state laws allow for a felony DUI (or DWI) charge in cases where the driver’s alcohol-related acts have caused bodily harm or death to another.

Simply being in an accident can meet the lower threshold for “reasonable suspicion” that a law may have been broken, allowing a police officer to stop and temporarily detain the motorists involved for the purpose of investigating further.

At this point, the officer may ask one or more of the drivers involved if they had been drinking; look to see if any beer cans or other tell-tale evidence is in plain view; or look at the drivers’ eyes for signs of impairment. The officer also may conduct field sobriety tests.

If the investigation leads the officer to conclude that a motorist most likely is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, often based on the results of a BAC test, then the officer has “probable cause” to make an arrest for drunk driving.

Therefore, an accident may give an officer reasonable suspicion to investigate the scene, but only solid evidence of intoxication gives the officer probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, some states allow either mandatory or discretionary BAC testing of motorists involved in accidents that cause serious injury or death.

Depending on your state, officers may require BAC testing of drivers, passengers, and/or pedestrians killed in automobile accidents. In other states, however, testing occurs at the discretion of the officers on the scene.  Many of the states lacking mandatory BAC testing requirements rely on implied consent law to authorize BAC testing of motorists, passengers, and/or pedestrians seriously injured or killed in accidents

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.

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