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Serious Bodily Injury (SBI) Citation

Recently, the Florida Legislature enacted new legislation which required a mandatory court appearance for "any infraction which results in a crash that causes 'serious bodily injury' of another." Serious bodily injury is defined, in Fla. Stat. 316.1933(1), as "an injury to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ."

Serious Bodily Injury (SBI) Penalties
In addition to the mandatory court hearing, drivers face a potential civil penalty of $500.00, possible court-imposed driving school and/or community service, court costs, and a 90 Day License Suspension.

Fight Your SBI Citation
As noted above, the SBI charge applies even when you, the driver, are the only seriously injured party. However, there is a greater potential for dismissal or reduction to a non-SBI offense when you were the only individual with alleged "serious bodily injuries." The State has a difficult time proving the extensive nature of the alleged SBI because of the accident report privilege, the Defendant's ability to have an attorney appear on his/her behalf, and other evidentiary limitations.

In cases where another driver or individual allegedly sustained serious bodily injuries, the State must prove that those injuries meet the legal definition of "serious bodily injury." Florida law defines serious bodily injury as an injury to any person that causes the loss or impairment or function of a body part or organ, serious personal disfigurement, or the substantial risk of death. In some cases, a police officer may issue an SBI citation solely because the other driver was transported to the hospital via ambulance. However, this alone, is insufficient to sustain a finding of serious bodily injury.

If you have been issued a citation for a crash involving serious bodily injury (SBI), please contact my office for a free consultation regarding your options, you may reach our office at (727) 260-5754. You may be able to avoid the suspension of your license and get this ticket dismissed. Don't hesitate as we will need time to prepare your defense.

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