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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > DUI > Orange County Jury Convicts Driver in DUI Accident Case

Orange County Jury Convicts Driver in DUI Accident Case


Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious matter in Florida. Even a first offense carries the potential for 6 months in jail and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. Of course, those maximums can quickly escalate if a defendant has any prior drunk driving convictions–even outside of Florida–or there is another aggravating factor recognized by state law.

Defendant Sentenced to 360 Days in Jail for Hurting 2 Children

For instance, if a DUI results in “damage to the property or person of another,” Florida prosecutors can charge the driver with a first-degree misdemeanor. This is the most serious class of non-felony charge available under Florida law. A conviction carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail, among other possible consequences.

The state is especially motivated to pursue DUI cases when innocent people are injured. For example, a jury here in Orange County recently convicted a defendant charged with first-degree misdemeanor DUI following his October 2023 arrest. According to a statement from the Orlando State Attorney’s office, the defendant “backed his pickup truck into the passenger door of another vehicle causing the door to collide with two children.”

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies later arrived at the accident scene and observed visible signs of intoxication by the defendant. After the defendant failed several field sobriety exercises, the deputies placed him under arrest. Subsequent chemical testing determined the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was more than twice the legal limit in Florida.

This was also not the defendant’s first DUI arrest. The State Attorney noted the defendant was previously convicted in 2021 of a DUI causing property damage or bodily injury.

The jury in this most recent case convicted the defendant following a two-day trial. The State Attorney asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence allowable under Florida law, which as previously noted is 1 year in jail. The judge elected to impose a slightly shorter jail sentence of 360 days. But the defendant must also pay a $4,000 fine and restitution to both the state and his two child victims. The state also suspended his driver’s license for 5 years.

Contact the Joshi Law Firm Today

As bad as the outcome of this case was, it could have been much worse if the victims’ injuries had been more severe. In Florida, a DUI that results in “serious bodily injury”–such as disfigurement or the permanent loss of a bodily function–is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. And if a DUI results in death, prosecutors can charge the driver with manslaughter, which can be a first-degree felony that carries up to 30 years in prison.

So if you are facing DUI charges following an accident where there was any kind of damage to other persons or property, you must be prepared to vigorously defend yourself in court. Our Orlando DUI lawyers can help. Contact the Joshi Law Firm, P.A., today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our staff.



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