Will I have to participate in criminal proceedings against the DUI driver?
Most drivers who are arrested for Driving Under the Influence will face criminal charges typically filed by the State Attorney’s office. Throughout the criminal proceedings, there may be time that the State calls upon you as a witness to either testify as to how the accident happened, your observation of the accused driver’s conduct, or even the extent of the damage to your vehicle and severity of your injuries. I highly encourage you to cooperate with the State Attorney’s office and remember that whatever happens in the criminal proceedings will have no material impact on your claim for injuries.
What if the driver is found to be not-guilty? A finding of not-guilty in a criminal proceeding is not always an indication that a person did not engage in the unlawful conduct, but sometimes a mere issue of lack of proof. Either way, whatever transpires in the criminal proceedings, that driver’s conduct or alleged conduct can still be argued in civil court. In plain terms, if a driver is not charged or not convicted of DUI, the arresting officer’s suspicions and the driver’s conduct before, during and at the scene of the accident can still be introduced into court at a trial for your injuries as a means of proving that the driving was under the influence.
What do I do if I am asked to participate in the criminal proceedings? Call the law office of Dan Newlin & Partners at (407) 888-8000: It is important for you to understand that because you are the victim, the State is on your side. However there are certain things that occur at the criminal proceedings which could impact your claim for injuries. Important testimony might be uttered in court that may help your case. Furthermore, you may be entitled to restitution in criminal court which could affect the damages you receive in your claim for injuries. It has always been my policy that if our client is summoned to appear in criminal court as a witness, I will accompany them as their attorney and be with them to assist in any decision making regarding their legal options. Please feel free to call or contact us today to discuss this issue.