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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    1

    Question Driver Found Unconscious in Running Vehicle with Head Injuries, Charged With DUI

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: FL

    Are there any cases of a driver who was found unconscious in vehicle, charged with DUI, but was a victim of an assault?

    No accident, no property damage, no passengers in vehicle. Driver was found in vehicle (running). Driver had substantial head injuries which were observed by authorities/EMS (eye swollen shut/bleeding, side of head/ear bleeding and scabbed over). Driver refused field sobriety/breathalyzer tests, went to ER a few days following incident for the head injury.

    Pros/Cons of this case?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,496

    Default Re: Driver Found Unconscious in Running Vehicle with Head Injuries, Still DUI

    Quote Quoting golf808
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: FL

    Are there any cases of a driver who was found unconscious in vehicle, charged with DUI, but was a victim of an assault?
    Sure there are. One CAN even be both an assault victim AND a DUI driver.

    No accident, no property damage, no passengers in vehicle. Driver was found in vehicle (running). Driver had substantial head injuries which were observed by authorities/EMS (eye swollen shut/bleeding, side of head/ear bleeding and scabbed over). Driver refused field sobriety/breathalyzer tests, went to ER a few days following incident for the head injury.

    Pros/Cons of this case?
    Is this what happened? Was he charged? If so, what was he charged with?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,628

    Default Re: Driver Found Unconscious in Running Vehicle with Head Injuries, Still DUI

    Quote Quoting golf808
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: FL

    Are there any cases of a driver who was found unconscious in vehicle, charged with DUI, but was a victim of an assault?

    No accident, no property damage, no passengers in vehicle. Driver was found in vehicle (running). Driver had substantial head injuries which were observed by authorities/EMS (eye swollen shut/bleeding, side of head/ear bleeding and scabbed over). Driver refused field sobriety/breathalyzer tests, went to ER a few days following incident for the head injury.

    Pros/Cons of this case?
    There might have been a case with those facts in Florida. But that’s not really a productive pursuit as some other case on similar facts is not needed here. Case law is needed to resolve legal issues. But from I can see you are raising a factual issue: whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prove the driver was driving DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s up to the jury or judge to decide after hearing all the evidence. Note that even if he had been assaulted he would still be guilty of a DUI if he drove the car with a BAC of .08 or while impaired by alcohol or drugs in whatever amount. The assault would not excuse committing a DUI.

    We don’t have much of the relevant facts here so it’s impossible to know exactly what the state’s case will be or what defenses might be available. I’ll note that being behind the wheel of a car with the engine running is pretty strong evidence suggesting he had been driving the car. The state would also need evidence to show he had been drinking or using drugs, yet you do not say what that is. Did he got to the hospital right away and end up admitted for several days or did he refuse to go to the hospital that day/night and went to the ER a few days later? Your post isn’t clear on that. If he went to the ER that day/night, was a blood or other test done to determine whether alcohol or drugs were present and if so, what was the result of that test? Was he the only person in the car at the time he was found? Where was the car — parked in his driveway, parked along the side of a highway, or what?

    You suggest that an assault would explain the circumstances of how the defendant came to be found in the circumstances he was, but have given no indication how that happened or what evidence the driver has to support it. What exactly is his claim as to what happened here that can explain how he was found that doesn’t involve DUI?

    As you can see, there is a lot more here that one would need to know to determine how strong or weak the case is against him and how strong or weak his defense is. I strongly suggest he get a good DUI lawyer. I think he’ll need one for this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,431

    Default Re: Driver Found Unconscious in Running Vehicle with Head Injuries, Still DUI

    There are certainly plenty of cases where the driver who was wrecked through no fault of their own was also arrested for being drunk. Happens all the time in Florida and many other states. Whether the driver was driving under the influence or not is independent of whether they were assaulted. What are the issues? Was there a mandated chemical test that was declined?

    Still, as TM says, if you're actually charged with this, it's going to take an attorney to sift through it. Even the sober need legal representation, let alone people suffering from head injuries or intoxication.

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