You may have gathered that if you receive a DUI, you will have two cases pending against you. There will be a criminal case in which it will be determined if you are guilty or innocent of DUI. There will also be a DMV case. The DMV case will determine if your license should be suspended or not. However, if you caused an accident as a result of driving under the influence, you might be facing a third case. This is a civil case brought against you for personal injury. If this is the case, please use this information to understand what you are being accused of. This information can help you determine how to proceed.
The Criminal Hearing
Driving under the influence is a criminal offense. If arrested for a DUI, a hearing will be scheduled in the criminal court. This will determine if you are guilty or innocent of this crime. If you are found guilty at the criminal hearing, you will face penalties. These penalties include fines, probation, jail time, community service, mandatory participation in rehabilitation or alcohol/drug counseling, etc. If found innocent, the charges will be dropped. This means you will not have a DUI on your criminal record.
The DMV Hearing
When charged with a DUI, your license may be suspended. While the criminal court will determine the penalties for a DUI conviction, the DMV hearing deals solely with your ability to drive. The DMV does not have the right to determine if you are guilty or innocent of driving under the influence, it will only determine if your license should be suspended or not. It is important to note that the criminal hearing and the DMV hearing are completely independent of one another. Just because a court finds you not guilty of driving under the influence does not mean that your license will not be suspended by the DMV. Likewise, just because you are found guilty of a DUI does not always mean that the DMV will suspend your license. It is always important to attend this hearing and make a case for saving your license.
The Civil Hearing
If you caused an accident while driving under the influence, you might be sued for personal injury by the victim of the accident. You won’t face additional jail time if found guilty of a civil case, but you will have to pay compensation to the victim for their injuries. This can become extremely expensive, depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. If you face a personal injury case, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to fight the charge and prove that you are not responsible for the injuries sustained in the accident, or that no injuries really took place.
Facing up to three cases pending against you can be extremely overwhelming and frightening. If you are facing a personal injury case and a DUI charge, you need to get professional help. Contacting both a personal injury lawyer and a DUI lawyer will help you start building your defense. To discuss your case, please contact me at 888-523-9384.