Can I Be Arrested for DUI After a Crash?
By: Chris Kramer
If a person is suspected of driving under the influence, it's common for the police to place the suspect under arrest, whether or not an accident has taken place. If you're facing this situation, it's important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
No matter what the circumstances, a DUI is taken extremely seriously. So if you've been in an accident under the influence of any drug or alcohol and there is a crash involved, you can expect an investigation to take place.
Depending on state laws and whether or not injuries or property damage occurred, you could face misdemeanor or felony DUI charges.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
A misdemeanor DUI charge is usually given to a first or second-time offender. Some states allow a third offense to be classified as a misdemeanor as well. Again, the severity of the incident in addition to that state’s particular set of laws may determine the type of charge.
If the person charged has multiple DUI incidents on his or her record and if the crash includes any injuries or property damage, the offense may be categorized as a felony.
Felony DUI charges are considered more severe than misdemeanor DUIs. But either charge can do a lot of damage to your future due to possible fines, jail time and the potentially negative impact on your career options.
Can I Be Arrested?
Even if there were no witnesses to the crash, officers can still arrest you based on the findings of their investigation. If you are at the scene when officers arrive, they must establish probable cause that you're at fault for the accident.
The probable cause could be determined through sobriety tests, a breathalyzer test and detailed questioning about your alleged role in the incident. After conducting these preliminary tests, an officer might ask you to come back to the police station for blood and urine tests.
The test results, observations of your demeanor and any physical indications of intoxication from alcohol or drugs could all be used to justify an arrest. Therefore, it's always better to remain calm and cooperative when questioned by officers who could arrest you for any offense, including DUI.
Connect with a Lawyer Near You
If you've been arrested for DUI after a crash, the charges can be very overwhelming. Find out about your state's DUI laws and the best way to proceed with your case. Just fill out the form below to begin this process now.