DC DUI Criminal and Civil Investigations

Being charged with a DUI offense is bad enough without also having a civil suit filed against you. During car accident investigations, law enforcement might find out that you were impaired while you were driving, which could open you up to DUI charges as well as car accident claims. These claims especially occur if the other driver in the accident sustains an injury or damage to their car. If you want to know more DC DUI criminal and civil investigations, consult a skilled DUI defense attorney that could advocate for you.

What Causes a Crash Investigation to Become a DUI Criminal Investigation

When a police officer or officers arrive due to a traffic crash or a traffic accident, while they are speaking to the drivers, if there is some reason for them to suspect that one or both drivers is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they will start asking questions about that. It is common for a police officer to ask a driver in a traffic accident, if they have been drinking or whether they have ingested any drugs (prescription or illegal).

During the stop, law enforcement will start asking those questions to determine whether the person was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Based upon how the person is standing, speaking, what their breath smells like, what the person smells like, how they are following directions – in other words, based upon their physical appearance, and mannerisms, and their conduct, does the officer have a reason to believe that this person might be under the influence? If so, that is when crash investigations transition into DC DUI criminal and civil investigations.

Aspects of a Criminal Case That Can Be Used in a Civil Case

DC DUI criminal and civil investigations often come up in a situation where an individual is charged with a DUI after some form of an accident where there was either property damage or physical injuries to somebody else, whether it be pedestrians or some other driver. In that situation, many times, the other party will file a civil suit against the defendant in the criminal case. In other words, the person starts with a DUI case with the government and is also sued civilly by one or more plaintiffs, who were either physically hurt based on the defendant’s actions in a DUI or had their property damaged.

Evidence in Civil and Criminal Investigations

In q civil case the plaintiffs will try to make use of anything they can with regard to the police investigation in the DUI case. In other words, if the police subjected the defendant to certain field sobriety tests, arrested the defendant, charged the defendant, the defendant gets a blood test, or a breath test, or a urine test and the results of that test shows that the defendant was under the influence so, by law, is impaired, then in the civil case, the plaintiff is going to want to use that information to prove the causation component or liability component against the defendant in the civil case.

The plaintiff is going to want to use any and all evidence they can in DC DUI criminal and civil investigations because basically, in a case like that, what happens is they have the government doing all of the investigations that the plaintiffs can then use against them, and if the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty in the criminal case, that will absolutely be used by a plaintiff on the civil case against that defendant to prohibit them from arguing that they were not, in fact, driving under the influence and through a plea agreement or they may have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt which is a higher standard than the more-likely-than-not standard in a civil case. That is why it is important for individuals to get in touch with a DUI attorney that could help them navigate the legal process and could protect their rights in a civil investigation.