As many people quickly find out, Virginia’s DUI laws are strict and harsh. Virginia also has a specific and separate charge when someone is driving under the influence of alcohol and consequently causes an accident with injuries. This charge is called “DUI maiming” and can be found in Virginia Code § 18.2-51.4. Unlike a standard DUI charge under Virginia Code § 18.2-266, which is a misdemeanor, this charge is a felony offense. Therefore, it is much more serious and the consequences may be worse.
DUI Maiming Statute in Virginia
Specifically, the code states that, “any person who, as a result of driving while intoxicated in violation of § 18.2-266 or any local ordinance substantially similar thereto in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony” (emphasis added).
Penalties For DUI Maiming in Virginia
A class 6 felony can carry punishments of one to five years in prison and up to $2500 in fines. There is also a mandatory license suspension, requirements for completion of an alcohol/substance abuse program, and the required installation of an ignition interlock if a restricted license is granted.
Similar to a DUI, there are a variety of elements that the prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction, especially since it is a car accident case. If you have been charged with DUI maiming, it is important that you contact the experienced DUI lawyers at Greenspun Shapiro PC immediately so that we can walk you through your defenses and make sure you receive the best representation possible.