If Someone Is Convicted Of A DUI And Was In An Accident That Caused Them Injuries, Can Health Insurance Companies Deny Or Limit Coverage If There Is A Legal Criminal Conviction Involved?
Such matters usually fall under the civil aspect. However, when talking about the criminal aspect, unfortunately, Arizona does not have a crime of DUI with an accident. It is unfortunate because if there is an accident with serious injury or death, very likely a person is going to be charged with the general offense of aggravated assault, or manslaughter, or negligent homicide, or second degree murder, or first degree murder.
To add insult to injury, because someone was under the influence of alcohol while driving a motor vehicle, oftentimes the county will consider the motor vehicle as a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Therefore, they will be charged with aggravated assault or second degree murder or manslaughter or negligent homicide as a dangerous offense, which greatly increases the amount of jail time that a person faces the potential of receiving.
In DUI cases where someone had a blood alcohol content just a bit above the legal limit, that person on the first-time offense is facing anywhere from one day in jail up to six months in jail. However, if there was an accident where someone was seriously physically injured, then that person is looking at anywhere from 5 to 15 years in prison where the starting point is seven-and-a-half years in prison.
Technically, the way that aggravated assault, dangerous charges are charged, there doesn’t even necessarily need to be a serious physical injury. It can literally be any type of injury. If someone is driving drunk and hits another vehicle and that person in the other vehicle stubbed their finger or hit their head, technically, the person who was driving drunk who caused the accident can be charged with an aggravated assault, dangerous offense.
Anytime there is an accident involved with the allegation that someone was driving under the influence of alcohol, those types of cases have to be handled a specific way in order to best protect the person from dealing with the case later on as a felony. Realistically, if the prosecutor decides to charge a dangerous felony offense against someone because they were driving under the influence and got into an accident and hurt someone, there is nothing a defense attorney can do to stop them.
If the county wants to charge someone with these serious charges, they can do it. A defense attorney knows what they can do to minimize the likelihood of that happening. It’s part of the job of a defense attorney to try and do everything possible to not have the case taken out of misdemeanor land and taken up to felony land, especially when it’s a first time offense, and when the injuries are not severe. Anytime there is an accident, that’s a red flag that the case needs to be handled a specific way in order to best protect a client and hopefully prevent the case from being re-filed as a felony.
If you are not sure whether A Legal Criminal Conviction Will Affect Your Health Insurance Coverage, call the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan for a FREE Initial Consultation at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.