The recent story of a Los Angeles man who rear-ended actress Jennifer Lopez’s Rolls Royce while allegedly intoxicated is a good example of how quickly things can go wrong for someone accused of DUI. Not only did Robert John Reitz, 53, allegedly rear-end Lopez’s car as she and her children drove through Malibu, but sources involved in the investigation have stated that his blood alcohol content may have been as high as .15 percent at the time.
Reitz now faces a number of possible penalties including up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Fortunately, Lopez and her passengers, one of whom was fellow actress Leah Remini, were unharmed in the crash.
Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. Along with mandatory jail time, Arizona also allows judges to impose heavy fines, require ignition interlock devices in vehicles and require drivers to attend mandatory training. This can result in thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for a DUI conviction as well as a great deal of time spent trying to reinstate your driver’s license and find affordable car insurance.
All of this pales in comparison to the problems that can result if you cause an accident while drunk, however. Besides the criminal penalties that Arizona imposes, you may find yourself the recipient of a lawsuit by the victim in the crash. Depending on your insurance coverage, your home, car and bank accounts could be in danger if the victim wins his or her lawsuit. If were are intoxicated while involved in an accident, the chances of the victim finding a sympathetic judge or jury are very high.
It is important to realize that you are dealing with two separate issues if you cause an accident while driving drunk: the possible criminal penalties and the possible civil issues.
First, it is important to deal with your criminal charges. If you are convicted of DUI, the victim is almost sure to use the conviction in support of a civil lawsuit. Therefore, handling your criminal charges first is very important.
Alex Lane is a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix with years of experience in helping those charged with DUI. Contact him today for a consultation about your case. No matter what type of charges you are facing, Alex Lane can help you deal with the consequences of a drunk driving arrest.
If you have been charged with a DUI, drug charge, sex crime or any serious criminal offense, let an experienced defense team fight for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our partners today. Call (480) 562-3482 or send an email.