Causing Death and Serious Personal Injury

The toughest Michigan drinking and driving laws (or driving while impaired or under the influence of drugs) are reserved for persons who cause a death or injury to another. When aggravating factors are involved and a death occurs, the prosecutor may opt to charge the intoxicated party who caused the death with second degree murder. These offenses are charged as felonies and carry possible prison terms. Second degree murder can carry up to life in prison.

Contact ABDO LAW if you find yourself in this position to formulate a solid defense strategy that will encompass the following:

  • Obtaining all test results, police and accident reports.
  • Obtaining any police or independent video and/or photographic evidence.
  • Employing engineers and accident re-constructionist experts.
  • Retaining experts to render an opinion regarding causation.
  • Retaining experts to inspect crash site and vehicles.
  • Retrieving Event Data Recorder (black box) from vehicle.
  • Interviewing prospective witnesses.
  • Making recommendations regarding counseling.
  • Obtaining an independent evaluation of breath, blood or urine sample.

ABDO LAW is your best choice for DUI cases in every Metro Detroit Court in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

Operate While Intoxicated or Impaired Causing Serious Injury
License SanctionsIndefinite revocation
Maximum Jail5 years
Maximum Fine$1,000 to $5,000
Vehicle ImmobilizationUp to 180 days
Vehicle ForfeitureDiscretionary
License Plate ActionConfiscated
Probation5 years maximum
Operate While Intoxicated or Impaired Causing Death
License SanctionsIndefinite revocation
Maximum Jail15 years
20 years if emergency responder
Maximum Fine$2,500 to $10,000
Vehicle ImmobilizationUp to 180 days
Vehicle ForfeitureDiscretionary
License Plate ActionConfiscated
Probation5 years maximum
DUI Causing Death or Injury Must Be Proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

The prosecuting attorney is required to prove all of the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This applies in all criminal cases including when someone is charged with operating while intoxicated or impaired causing death or injury. There are three major elements that must be proven in cases where a that involve operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs in an accident causing death or injury.

  1. Does the injury qualify as a serious injury under the statute?

    A "serious injury" pursuant to Michigan laws includes loss of limb, permanent disfigurement, skull fracture or other serious bone fracture. Serious injury is broadly construed to include serious impairment of a bodily function. Pursuant to MCL 500.3135(7), serious impairment of body function' means an objectively manifested impairment of an important body function that affects the person's general ability to lead his or her normal life.

  2. Did the accused cause the injuries or death to another person?

    Michigan case law defines causation as follows: For a defendant's conduct to be regarded as a proximate cause, the victim's injury must be a direct and natural result of the defendant's actions.

    Jurors, judges and lawyers struggle with the meaning of causation. The defense attorney may need to utilize experts when causation is contested for purpose of accident reconstruction or to provide testimony regarding the speed of the vehicles and the meaning of skid marks. The information which is derived from the vehicle Event Data Recorder (EDR) can also be obtained and downloaded for vital information that may help to determine causation. At a minimum, the EDR provides vital information regarding the speed and braking of a vehicle in the moments before a traffic crash.

  3. Was the defendant impaired, intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs, prescribed medications or alcohol?

    In an accident investigation involving the death or injury of another person, the police will invariably seek a breath, blood or urine sample for testing pursuant to MCL 257.625(a) if the accused party is suspected of being impaired or intoxicated due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs. Intoxication, impairment or being under the influence may occur due to the consumption of alcohol, marijuana (including medical marijuana) illegal drugs, prescribed medications or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Should an individual refuse to take a test, the police may obtain a search warrant for a blood test. All equipment and testing procedures are to ridged standards of care and protocol which may be contested in the court system. In addition, the police are required to provide defense counsel with a clean unadulterated chemical test sample of the blood, breath or urine collected for the purpose of allowing the defendant to obtain an independent forensic evaluation.

Aggressive Defense: Experts, Independent Testing, Private Investigators

If you are charged with a DUI causing death or injury, ABDO LAW will employ private investigators to obtain witness statements and will team up with experts to facilitate a solid to reconstruct the accident scene and provide forensic analysis of test results. The following are links related to this topic:

DUI Defense Lawyers: Email or Call for Free Consultation
Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County & St. Clair County

EMAIL or CALL Abdo Law for a FREE CONSULTATION. Phone messages after business hours are forwarded to our attorneys. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo