DUI is a multi-faceted charge because of various aggravating factors that can elevate it from a simple traffic violation to a severe felony case. One of these aggravating factors involves committing a DUI that leads to substantial bodily harm in Las Vegas.
Get to know more about DUI with substantial bodily harm in Las Vegas and how to deal with it through the legal process.
What is DUI Causing Substantial Bodily Harm in Las Vegas?
DUI Causing substantial bodily harm refers to a situation of DUI where the driver is accused of driving into other parties, grievously injuring them or causing near-fatal wounds. Any permanent disfiguration, permanent or temporary loss of bodily function, or internal organ damage can be considered as substantial bodily harm. Injuries commonly considered as part of substantial bodily harm include:
– Temporary or permanently broken bones
– Wounds requiring surgery like cut wounds, bullet wounds or severe burns
– Organ damage
– Permanent or temporary paralysis
– Concussions and contusions
– Extended period of unconsciousness
It is important to remember that a count of substantial bodily harm is valid only if the injuries sustained by the victim were implicitly inflicted by the accused, and did not come about as a result of self-inflicted harm (for example, willingly throwing oneself into the path of a vehicle driven under the influence for whatever reason).
Aggravating Factors for DUI Causing Substantial Bodily Harm
As in other severe cases heard within Las Vegas, several factors are considered before a DUI charge can be elevated into a DUI causing substantial bodily harm. The more severe these factors are, the higher the chance that the complaint can be elevated into a higher-category felony.
Some of these aggravating factors include:
– The severity of the injury
– The length of time the injury affected the victim
– Medical costs incurred as a result of the injury received
– The physical pain sustained by the victim after the fact
Penalties for DUI with Substantial Bodily Harm in Las Vegas
DUI in Las Vegas can already qualify as a Category C felony if the accused has been convicted of the charge at least twice within the last seven years. Inflicting substantial bodily harm while under the influence increases the chances that the felony charge can be elevated to Category A almost immediately.
On the minimum, DUI causing substantial bodily harm in Las Vegas already falls under a Category B felony, which means that a convicted person can face
– Minimum of one year to a maximum of six years of prison time in a state penitentiary
– Between $2,000 and $5,000 in fines (does not include additional fees that may be demanded by the courts)
– Attending a Victim Impact Panel for repeat offenders
– Revocation of driver’s license for a maximum of three years
– Installation and usage of a brake interlock device for a period between one and three years
– Regular reporting for alcohol and drug evaluation
Note that the time spent and the fees paid may be increased depending on the number of victims involved.
Facing a Las Vegas DUI with Substantial Bodily Harm Charge
The prospect of spending a good portion of your life in prison due to a DUI with substantial bodily harm charge may be chilling, but it can be avoided if you know what to work with. Las Vegas defense attorneys know that the burden of proving their client’s guilt lies in the prosecution, who must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the incident that caused physical harm to the victims were caused by an inebriated driver.
The prosecution will seek a conviction through either a per se clause (proof of guilt via evidence gathered within two hours after the incident), a ‘time-of-the-incident’ clause (the prosecution has irrefutable evidence that the accused was inebriated at the exact time he was behind the wheel), or the impaired driving clause (no physical evidence is needed, and the arrest was made simply because the accused smelled of alcohol and/or failed a sobriety test). Las Vegas defense attorneys often refute this with the help of eyewitness, local security cameras, and medical records.
In the event that conviction cannot be avoided, defense lawyers often seek ways to lower the sentence to a misdemeanor to reduce penalties incurred and avoid a worse fallout in their personal and professional lives.
DUI with Substantial Bodily Harm Defense with Goodman Law Group, P.C.
Ross C. Goodman, Esq. Of Goodman Law Group, P.C. understands that a DUI complaint enhanced by a claim of substantial bodily harm is a legal hurdle that has serious repercussions if not handled effectively. As such, he uses his skill and experience in working on such cases to ensure that his client gets the best outcome from the legal proceedings. With over two decades of handling DUI cases and other criminal charges, Goodman Law Group, P.C. is your best bet in avoiding a severe conviction due to DUI with substantial bodily harm in Las Vegas.
Get in touch now by calling (702) 825-7854, and let Ross help you deal with your Las Vegas DUI with substantial bodily harm case.