What happens if you get in an accident while drunk?
You’re searching the phrase “DWI lawyer Fort Bend” and you can’t believe it. It was just a few drinks and you thought you could manage on your way home. Then you hit that sign and crashed… into another vehicle.
On top of the guilt and regret you’re also feeling panicked. “What comes next?” you think. “What do I do?”
Thankfully, the right DWI lawyer in Fort Bend can help you navigate a DWI with grace and save your future. Read on to learn more about what happens when you get in an accident while drunk.
What Happens Now?
If you’re drunk and get into an accident, it’s likely that you’re facing some severe penalties and maybe even jail time. But there are a few different circumstances for this situation.
Depending on which one is most like yours, your Fort Bend DWI lawyer can help you craft a strong case that’ll protect your future.
Does It Matter Who or What Caused the Accident?
If you caused the accident, regardless of whether the reason was your drunkenness or a dog in the middle of the road, it’s likely that court penalties will be harder on you.
However, simply being in an accident while cited for a DWI doesn’t automatically mean you are at fault for the accident. It’s important to explain to your DWI lawyer every detail of what happened.
If another car was at fault – maybe they ran a red light or a stop sign – then that can help you in court.
Someone Was Injured or Killed
A DWI crash that results in injuries or death is the most serious form of DWI. It’s often referred to as Intoxication Assault, and is a third-degree felony.
Punishments may include:
- 2-10 years in prison
- Fines of up to $10,000
- 2 years of driver’s license suspension
If you seriously injure an on-duty firefighter or ambulance worker/EMT, that’s a second-degree felony. If you seriously injure an on-duty police officer, that’s a first-degree felony.
If your DWI crash kills someone, that is called Intoxication Manslaughter, a first-degree felony.
You Caused Property Damage
Property damage from a car can be very serious, even if you weren’t going very fast. Whether you ran into a stop sign, light pole, building, or something else, know that you’ll be expected to pay for those damages.
Make sure you take photos of the damage that was done and note the speed you were driving at, as this information will help your DWI lawyer fight for you in court.
Of course, damaging someone else’s property (this includes other vehicles) in addition to DWI will most likely result in harsher punishments.
The property owner may sue you, and the lawsuit is separate from your DWI charge.
These cases most often involve DWIs that caused damage to another person’s car during a wreck. The property damage is added as a separate charge from your DWI.
It’s a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. But don’t take it lightly. You may also face civil penalties if whoever owns the property you damaged – the plaintiff – files a lawsuit against you.
This lawsuit would be separate from your DWI case, meaning you’d most likely be required to pay for repair or replacement.
If you are served with a lawsuit, it’s important to act quickly. You must file the required documents of response by the court-imposed deadline. Call up your lawyer and discuss your next steps. Also, when served with a summons, call your insurance company that same day to report it.
Will My Insurance Company Help Defend Me?
Some car insurance liability policies include a tenet where the insurance company will defend you if you’re sued for anything covered in your policy. The insurance company usually hires a local attorney who’s experienced with defending these types of cases, though they may also deny coverage once they learn of your DWI.
Do not rely on your car insurance to bail you out.
However, please note that this person may not be well versed in dealing with DWIs in addition to car accidents in court. The best move is to find someone who is experienced with both sides of the coin, like DWI attorney David Hunter.
You Wrecked Your Car
If the only thing that happened is you wrecked your car, and there’s no other property damage to report, this is the situation that’s likely to be best well received in court. A momentary lapse in judgment, one you will certainly learn from.
You will still have to report the wreck to your car insurance carrier. However, they will likely still cover repair of any damages – even when you cause them – up to the liability limits of your policy.
However, your insurance rates will increase dramatically. You could also face other penalties, such as nonrenewal or cancellation of your policy.
For a DWI Lawyer Fort Bend – Choose David Hunter Law Firm
If you’re looking for the best criminal defense lawyer in Sugar Land, look no further. David Hunter has unbeatable experience defending people in the Houston/Sugar Land court system. Whether you’re fighting a DWI, DUI, POM, or another type of charge, David Hunter is here for you. He will fight for your rights and your future and let you be heard. To schedule a free consultation, click the button below or call David anytime at (281) 265-1515.
What happens if you get in an accident while drunk? | The David Hunter Law Firm – Sugar Land, TX