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My partner has been involved in an accident in France while…

My partner has been involved...
My partner has been involved in an accident in France while driving over the legal alcohol limit. He was uninjured and the other party in the accident was slightly injured, both cars were written off. He was breathalysed at the scene of the accident and given a blood test in hospital. The police have asked him to attend the offices of the local Gendarmerie Nationale to make a statement. This is a first offence. Would he be advised to consult a lawyer before seeing the police? What is the usual process after being charged for an offence like this one?
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
3/8/2011
T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,449
Experience: 8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
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It is always advisable to consult a lawyer who will review all the specifics of the case and provide advice as to what the different legal options are. Depending on these specifics (such as how much alcohol he had in his blood, how the accident happened, how serious the injury of the other party were, whether the other party did anything wrong...) and his driving history, the sanctions can possibly go from a fine a few points taken off his license up to a jail sentence... The information above is not precise enough to give you a more detailed answer. Yet this is serious enough to consult an avocat... Before he probably receives summons to criminal court (tribunal correctionnel).
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
His driving licence is clean and always has been so this is a first offence, he is also a UK citizen and is not resident permanently in France. The other party in the accident was not badly injured. Would my partner be advised to take a lawyer/avocate with him when attending the gendarmerie to make a statement? I am assuming this matter is serious enough to go to court and he will have to have a lawyer present for that, is that correct? I know the French have very strict drink driving laws (quite rightly), however, is it usual to hand down a custodial sentence in France for a first offence to a citizen of another EU member state? He is expecting to have his licence revoked but the information on fines is hugely varied, ranging from 1000 euros to 30,000 euros, do you know if there is a standard or is it dependant on the judge presiding over the case?
The seriousness of the other party's injuries will be determined by how many days this party has been out of work on medical leave following the accident and whether he/she will suffer any sequel, however minor.
He would be well advised to consult a lawyer before going back to make a statement.
He will probably have his UK license transformed into a French license then revoked. The fine will depend on the detailed circumstances of the accident and the offenses committed. Hence the strong advice to consult a lawyer ASAP. A custodial sentence is most unlikely from what you wrote above but cannot entirely be ruled out.
T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,449
Experience: 8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
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T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,449
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Experience: 8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)

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