Seattle DUI Injury Lawyer
In Seattle, a person can face charges for a number of DUI charges. If you get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol or using drugs, you could find yourself facing criminal charges for driving under the influence, being in actual physical control of a vehicle under the influence and more. Charges get even more serious when other parties are affected by your alleged DUI. This includes inflicting property damage, injury and even death. In Washington, DUI drivers who cause the death of another can be charged with vehicular homicide and those who cause injury due to DUI can be charged with vehicular assault.
These are very serious charges and a lawyer should be consulted right away in order to make sure you understand your rights and the penalties that you face. For more information about Seattle vehicular assault, call our office right now.
Washington Vehicular Assault Laws
When a driver causes an accident or condition that leads to the death of another, they can be charged with homicide. When no one is killed, but someone is serious injured, that can face a lessor but still serious charge for vehicular assault. Under RCW 46.61.522( b), a person can be charged with this crime if they operate a vehicle “while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502, and causes substantial bodily harm to another”. This law means that someone who is involved in an innocent accident that leads to an injury could be charged with a felony crime if any alcohol or drugs are detected in their system.
In order for a vehicular assault charge to be proven in Washington, two key pieces of evidence must be demonstrated. A Seattle defense lawyer will work to disprove one or both of these factors in order to prove your innocence to a jury. The two factors are as follows:
- First, that the driver must be shown to have been under the influence as defined by RCW 46.61.502 which states:
(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood; or
(b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood; or
(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
- The second is that substantial bodily harm was caused. According to RCW 9A.04.110, substantial bodily harm is defined as “bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part”. This can include any injury that causes scarring, a broken bone or more serious injuries such as paralysis.
Under the definition of vehicular assault, many types of injuries could be grounds for this charge. It is important that anyone who is facing these types of charges obtain an experienced defense lawyer right away. There are many defenses available to you.
Washington Vehicular Assault Penalties
The penalties for vehicular assault are very steep. Washington law states that vehicular assault is a Class B felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000. Additionally, if alcohol or drug intoxication was in involved, you may also face conviction for a DUI related crime which will lead to a sentence of probation, alcohol treatment and more. Under RCW 46.61.524, any driver convicted of a DUI-related vehicular assault charge will have their license revoked until the court decides it can be reinstated. This often involves the completion of drug or alcohol treatment and other sentences.
For many people convicted of felony offenses, the worst penalty is actually the inclusion of their conviction on their criminal record. A felony conviction will appear on most background checks and may affect your ability to find employment, get admitted to school or even get approved for a loan. Students convicted of felony or DUI crimes could lose their scholarships or financial aid eligibility. Because of these steep penalties, it is vital that you call our office right now.
Attorney Steve Karimi is an experienced DUI and vehicular assault attorney. Before he started his practice, he worked as prosecutor for Washington State. He can use his experience to help you fight your charges. Call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi now to find out more about how attorney Karimi can work for you. Best of all, you can speak to him for a free consultation. Call now!