Receiving medical attention after a DUI may serve to mitigate charges a person is facing. However, it is certainly not a defense. Retaining the services of an experienced Virginia DUI attorney is the best step someone can take in assuring they receive proper representation. An attorney will advise a person of the charges they are facing, the consequences that may result, and how medical attention might mitigate the case.
If a person is injured as a result of a DUI accident—or a person is otherwise in need of medical attention—a trained law enforcement officer will contact emergency services to help that person receive medical attention that is necessary.
Whether a person received timely medical attention is not really a defense to a DUI. However, if a person is in need of medical attention, did not receive it, and thereafter was asked to perform things like Field Sobriety Tests or asked certain questions that were more difficult to answer because that person was in need of medical attention, then that would be an issue.
If they are bleeding, are in pain, or request medical attention, the police officers will typically use their training and experience to make sure that they receive emergency medical attention right away.
If a person receives emergency medical attention, it is typically not going to help if they are trying to dodge a DUI prosecution, because blood tests are available at the hospital for someone who has been detained or arrested on suspicion of a DUI. This is not usable as a defense by your Virginia DUI attorney.
Typically, if a person received medical attention and then other types of DUI behaviors are used against that person—such as poor performance on field sobriety tests, poor memory, or seeming out of it—the fact that that person had to receive emergency medical attention can be used to mitigate some of the circumstances.
The common example is if someone is asked questions, are unable to give responsive answers, and then shortly thereafter are treated for a concussion, that will obviously be a mitigating circumstance as to why that individual couldn’t answer the questions when the officers asked.
The same goes for physical conditions. If someone has a bump on the head, was asked to walk in a straight line, and is unable to do so—or suffers a leg injury or any other type of bodily injury and is then asked to do the physical field sobriety test—the fact that the individual needed medical attention when it was asked for would minimize the weight given to the evidence regarding the physical field sobriety tests.
However, a person may also refuse to receive medical attention. This is not recommended by a Virginia DUI defense attorney, though.
First of all, if a person is injured as a result of a DUI, a person should absolutely receive medical attention as soon as possible. If a person is suffering from injuries that were sustained in a car accident, it is advised in that situation to receive emergency medical attention—especially if an individual has been drinking and might not realize and understand the extent of any injuries. Just like one is advised to receive emergency medical attention when injured, a person should also contact an experienced Virginia DUI attorney as soon as possible. Virginia DUI attorneys will help a person know what to expect immediately after receiving a charge, what can be done to reserve the evidence, and what can be done to use that medical information as a mitigating factor in defending the case.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law