What Are DUI Maiming Charges in Virginia?

dui maiming charges VAVirginia law is hard on people charged with a DUI, where the impaired driver caused an accident that involved injuries.

If you get charged with such a crime, you might feel like it’s hopeless and that you’ll automatically be found guilty.

Even though DUI maiming is a felony offense, you do not lose your constitutional rights just because you have been charged with a serious crime.

If you pick up a DUI maiming charge, you need someone to protect your constitutional rights and to look out for your best interests.

My name is Attorney Ryan Fitzgerald. My law partner, Andrew Flusche, and I focus our practice on protecting the rights of people who the government has charged with a crime.

We know this is a scary time, and we know you have a lot of questions. We are here to answer those questions, protect your rights, and help ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.

What Is DUI Maiming?

First, we feel that it is important to know that, in Virginia, there is no difference between DWI and DUI.

They are interchangeable terms—so when we refer to either name, it means the same thing. However, DWI maiming and simple DWI are separate crimes.

According to Virginia’s DUI law, driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime.

Also, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater is a crime, even if you show no visible signs of intoxication.

Similarly, driving with certain amounts of illicit drugs in your system is also a crime, even if you show no signs of impairment.

Section 18.2-54.1 sets forth the DUI maiming charge in Virginia. Under this section, a person violates this law when they:

  • Operate a vehicle while intoxicated or in violation of Virginia’s per se law (meaning that you drove with a BAC of over .08% regardless of whether you showed signs of intoxication);
  • Violate the statute in such a gross, wanton, and culpable manner that it shows a reckless disregard for human life; and
  • Cause either a serious bodily injury or permanent and significant physical impairment.

Under this section, serious bodily injury is an injury involving:

  • A substantial risk of death,
  • Extreme physical pain,
  • Protracted and obvious disfigurement, or
  • The loss or impairment of a bodily function, organ, or mental faculty.

The jury must find you not guilty if the prosecutor does not prove each element of the crime against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI Maiming Charge?

Remember, the class of crime only matters if a judge or jury finds you guilty. Notwithstanding, you should know what you’re up against if you have a DUI maiming charge.

DUI charges are usually misdemeanors. However, DUI maiming charges are either Class 6 or Class 4 felony offenses, even if it is your first offense.

A Class 4 felony charge carries a minimum prison sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of 10 years.

A Class 6 felony calls for imprisonment between one and five years.

However, during the sentencing phase of your case, the judge or jury can sentence you to jail for up to 12 months and assess a maximum $2,500 fine instead of sending you to prison if they convict you of a Class 6 felony.

DUI Maiming Defenses

Whether you want to pursue the best plea deal or fight the charges at trial, you should understand that every case is different.

Your defense must be tailored to your specific case. However, we have developed some defense theories during our careers that have helped many clients.

The prosecutor has to prove that it was you who was behind the wheel and not anyone else.

Additionally, the prosecution must prove the alleged victim suffered a serious bodily injury. Bumps, bruises, and soreness do not meet the definition of a serious bodily injury.

The prosecutor must also prove that your reckless driving caused the accident. You might only face a DUI misdemeanor if they can’t prove you caused the crash.

Finally, the prosecutor has to prove you were driving while intoxicated. You must be found not guilty if the prosecution fails to prove you were intoxicated or violated the per se DUI law.

Help Is Available

Severe consequences accompany a DUI maiming charge.

Contact our firm today by calling 540-318-5824 to schedule a free consultation and get the legal help you need.

We are always available to take your call, so don’t hesitate to contact us today. We fight relentlessly so our clients can keep their jobs, licenses, and freedom.

Ryan Fitzgerald

I'm Ryan Fitzgerald; everyone calls me Fitz. I partnered with Andrew to form a focused defense team that is devoted to your needs. I have over 12 years of experience as a former prosecutor, so I know what the Commonwealth wants to see for negotiations and how to find the weak spots in their case. My experience ranges from reviewing all incoming DWIs to prepare other prosecutors for court, to training officers how to build their DWI cases, to successfully prosecuting a thirty-year cold case homicide. Your initial consultation with me is free; you'll talk directly with me about your case and how we can leverage my experience and connections to obtain the best possible result.

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