Man with history of DUIs arrested in crash that injured motorcyclist

A Georgia man who told police he has three prior DUI arrests was arrested and charged this month for his role in a Jacksonville crash that critically injured a 19-year-old motorcyclist.  Police said the driver was turning left into an apartment complex when he did not stop for a motorcycle that ran into the front of his car, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The driver stopped momentarily, started walking toward the injured motorcyclist, then came back to the car and drove off into the complex, the newspaper reported.

Police later found the driver walking in the apartment complex and said he had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, the newspaper reported. Police had to get a warrant to take a blood sample from him because he initially refused. In Jacksonville DUI Cases involving a serious injury, drivers do not have a choice in giving a blood sample. If they do initially refuse, police can quickly obtain a warrant and get it done that way. When drivers agree to a Florida driver’s license, they agree to give a blood draw if police suspect alcohol or drug use in a crash where someone – even the driver – is seriously injured.

In this Jacksonville DUI Case, the man is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a serious injury and not rendering aid to the victim. That charge is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The Florida Legislature made a change to the penalties in 2014, increasing the charge from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony. The crime previously had a maximum sentence of five years in state prison. The new law also strengthened minimum mandatory sentences in hit-and-run cases when people are killed.  One point to note in this Jacksonville DUI Case: Technically, the driver has yet to be charged with the DUI portion of the crime. When blood is drawn for cases like this, typically the results take six to nine months to return from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab. In cases where the driver did not leave the scene, there likely wouldn’t be any charges at all until lab results returned. In this Jacksonville Felony Case, the man can already be charged with a second-degree felony without the blood test, and he has shown a propensity to flee. The case will likely not resolve until those blood test results are back, though that could change in negotiations between the state and the defense.  Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney has represented hundreds of people charged with DUI and knows the specific procedures police must follow in these cases. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly review and investigate your case to make sure every aspect of the law was followed.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.