In 2016, the United States Supreme court issued a decision in a case called Birchfield v. South Dakota, in which they said you can't get take blood without getting a search warrant first. The implied consent on your driver's license is not enough to bind the driver. There are risks involved in giving blood and the constitution and the requirement of reasonable searches and seizure requires that the police either get a warrant or explain why it is impracticable to get a warrant.
Today, with email and cellphone technologies, it would only take ten minutes to get a warrant, if the police chose to do it. In Florida, for a misdemeanor case, there is no provision to get a warrant in a DUI case. Florida's search warrant statute only allows the police in misdemeanor cases to get a search warrant when they are searching for the product of the crime or the means of committing a crime. One of our binding appellate decisions says that blood in a DUI case is neither the product of a crime nor the means to committing it, so unless and until they change the search warrant statute, there may not be any more blood cases in Florida, except in accident cases.
What Additional Charges Does A Driver Face If A DUI Related Accident results In Bodily Injury?
There is an enhancement for property damage or personal injury but the case remains a misdemeanor. If there is a serious bodily injury, it becomes a felony, and then the person might be facing time in the Florida department of corrections. A third degree felony can carry up to five years in prison. However, it's not easy for a state to prove that a particular injury is, in fact, a serious bodily injury.
What Charges Does Someone Face If They Kill A Person In A DUI Related Accident?
A person who causes death faces DUI manslaughter, which is a second degree felony that carries up to 15 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison.
Can DUI Enhancements Ever Be Reduced To Lesser Offenses Like Reckless Driving?
The more serious the initial charge, the less likely it is that the charge is going to be reduced. If someone is dead, there is going to be a lot of push-back from the community which makes it very hard for the State's Attorney to agree to a reduction in charges. That's not to say that it never happens. There are times when it is impossible to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Many times, the state would rather get a not guilty verdict than be held responsible for bargaining away a charge in a case, so they can blame it on the jury.
For more information on Evidence In A DUI Related Accident, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (941) 219-5553 today.