Florida Physical Therapist Charged With DUI and Property Damage

Many times in Jacksonville, individuals will consume alcohol or other substances and drive around town. For some, this may result in a DUI charge. For others who were unfortunate to run into something or someone, the consequences could be even worse. If one has been arrested in a situation like this, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to Boca News Now, Diane Siwek of Boca Raton was arrested for driving under the influence and causing property damage in an accident. She was questioned by investigators, taken to the Boca Raton Police Department, and provided breath samples of .167 and .164. the legal limit in Florida is 0.08. wpid-Photo-Oct-6-2012-304-PM.jpg

DUI charges may stem from property damage caused by a vehicle operated by someone who has a BAC level higher than the state’s limit. Individuals who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be stopped by police on the road if the individual displays behavior that gives the officer probable cause of driving under the influence. However, in situations where property damage done, a DUI test may be conducted at the scene to determine if the damage was result of intoxication.

Many times, when Jacksonville DUI charges are filed against one who has injured or destroyed property, the individual is likely to face criminal and civil litigation. In Florida, driving under the influence becomes even more significant because the accident might open the door for a property damage claim. Criminal penalties are even more significant if someone was hurt in the accident.

Florida Statute Section316.193(3) provides that any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is one year of jail and a $1,000 fine. Other mandatory minimum sentencing provisions may be applicable depending on whether any prior DUI convictions are present.

Some property damage claims may be of a great enough value that the charge may be a felony charge. This may be brought against the individual if the damage value is high enough or the damage is to property and life. The consequences of such a case can have life-altering effects, including:

– The individual may be required to install an ignition interlock device on vehicles at their home.
– The individual may be ordered to rehab, addiction counseling or DUI courses
– Possible Jail time, particularly in felony cases
– Loss of license and driving privileges may also occur.
– Significant costs to repay any damaged property
In many situations, the driver’s insurance policy will pay for costs linked with the property damage, assuming the coverage the driver has is enough to pay for those damages. In some situations, that coverage is not enough. At that point, the owner of the property damaged in the accident can file a civil lawsuit against the driver charged with the DUI. That accused individual may be ordered to pay for the damaged property and other penalties if deemed by the court, deciding the individual is responsible for the damages.

Nobody plans to get a DUI. Most people are just trying to get home. The best advice any lawyer can give is to not drive after you have consumed any alcohol. Find another way to get home or stay off the roads. One’s best advice is to never drive when one has consumed alcohol.

The only logical choice in this situation is to fight. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected. Do not allow a DUI charge to ruin a bright future, away from the troubles of the legal system.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Sources: <a href="http://bocanewsnow.com/2012/10/06/boca-raton-physical-therapist-charged-with-dui/"Boca Raton Physical Therapist Charged With DUI Boca News Now