Following a vehicle accident, life can become complicated. You could face serious physical and emotional trauma causing hefty financial burdens. This becomes even more complex should it be discovered alcohol was the cause of the accident. DUI investigations often spin-off from wreck investigations. For a crash investigation to develop into a criminal DUI investigation, law enforcement should have reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence.
These cases are substantially more complex because there is the possibility of facing two separate cases: a criminal case and a civil case. Fortunately, a seasoned attorney experienced with DUI accidents in Charleston could help you through every step of the process.
What Tests Do Charleston Officers Conduct to Detect the Presence of Alcohol?
If an individual is injured in an accident, the type of injury could influence what kind of test Charleston officers might conduct to detect alcohol in their system. If the individual’s mouth is injured, they should not be administered a breathalyzer test, but they could have a blood test done. If they are not seriously injured, officers might be able to conduct field sobriety tests to determine whether they show signs of impairment. Should the individual be unable to take any field sobriety test and their mouth is injured, an officer will likely have to resort to obtaining a search warrant to get a blood sample.
If an individual makes statements during a crash investigation, their lawyer might ask if the statements were made after being Mirandized. Miranda rights are not required during a traffic stop and are not regularly required during a field sobriety test. However, in a vehicle crash investigation, the argument could be made that an individual is detained and is not free to leave while the investigation is being conducted. Arguably, Miranda rights should be provided before any questioning at a crash site. An individual’s statements could also be challenged on the grounds that they were perhaps involuntarily made, depending on the circumstances surrounding those statements.
DUI Criminal and Civil Cases
Unfortunately, if alcohol is found in the individual’s system after a crash, they could face both a criminal and civil case. Any evidence in the criminal case can be used in the civil case, such as an individual’s statements, the circumstances surrounding the crash, and an individual’s blood alcohol content.
How an Attorney Could Help
Handling one legal case is complicated enough, let alone two cases. Fortunately, you do not have to face it alone. A dedicated lawyer with knowledge about handling DUI accidents in Charleston could help you every step of the way to fight for your rights.
If a civil claim might be filed against you, an experienced DUI attorney could communicate with their client’s vehicle insurance company and strongly advise their client not to make any statements after an arrest. The insurance company is responsible for certain fees and payments when any type of civil claim is filed against an insured individual accused of DUI, but it is the lawyer’s responsibility to guide the individual through the legal process. Talk to an attorney today.