Car Accident Lawyers
Driving under the influence is not usually someone’s intent. In fact, you may just be out to a happy hour with some co-workers or celebrating an anniversary with your spouse and not even realize you have had well above the alcohol limit. You may only feel a little buzzed and believe that it’s okay to drive. Even a buzz can ruin your concentration while driving or cause you to fall asleep at the wheel, and when this happens, you become a danger to yourself and others in the car and on the road. If you hit others while you are driving drunk, the police officer at the scene will likely not only charge you with a DUI but also with aggravated assault. If this situation sounds familiar and you are currently fighting DUI and aggravated assault charges, speak with trusted and respectful attorneys.
Do DUIs always result in an aggravated assault?
No. If you were driving and a police officer pulled you over because they suspected you were driving under the influence but you did not injure someone else, they will charge you with a DUI. However, if driving under the influence caused you to harm someone else in an auto accident, whether it is a passenger, a pedestrian, or another driver, then the police officer will likely charge you with aggravated assault. This is important because when you are charged with aggravated assault in addition to a DUI, it Is a second-degree felony.
What elements make up an aggravated assault while DUI case?
Typically, the police officer at the scene will need to prove certain elements in an aggravated assault while DUI case.
- There is a standard of safety and care that each driver on the road must take when they get behind the wheel of their car and you did not abide by this safety standard like any other reasonable driver would have behind the wheel.
- You caused the injuries to other people on the road as a direct result of drinking and driving.
- There were injuries that occurred to others on the road which were serious, life-threatening, or even disfiguring.
What are the different punishments for aggravated assault while DUI?
Depending on the details of the case, there are usually two types of punishments you can expect if you are convicted of aggravated assault while DUI. Both are punishable with a serious prison sentence depending on how much bodily harm you caused others.
- 2nd Degree Felony
- 3rd Degree Felony
These charges are serious. Are there any defenses?
Yes, it is possible to develop solid defenses to these charges. For example, if the alleged victim, in this case, became injured through other means and not through your driving, the aggravated assault charge could potentially not hold up. It is also possible there were no eyewitnesses to the accident. Additionally, the tools and tests used to judge whether you were driving under the influence may not be properly calibrated.
Your attorney will use all possible approaches to find the defense that works for your specific situation to reduce or throw out your aggravated assault while DUI charges. For more information, contact a Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer now.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal law and DUIs involving aggravated assault.