Soap opera star Freddie Smith has been formally charged for driving under the influence (DUI) and felony vehicular assault. His charges stem from an incident on October 7 th in Ashtabula County, Ohio where Smith was involved in a single-vehicle car accident. Smith's girlfriend was seriously injured in the crash.
According to Ashtabula County officials, 26-year-old Smith was visiting his Northeast Ohio hometown on the night of the crash. Police reports state that Smith lost control of his vehicle while on a curve, veered off the road, and flipped the car into a culvert. He suffered minor injuries and his 27-year-old girlfriend suffered serious injuries after being trapped in the vehicle. Smith's BAC level at the time of the crash was .093. Ohio's legal DUI limit is .08.
Smith's charges include a felony-level offense for vehicular assault. Under California law, motorists can also face felony charges after causing injury to a person while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As a felony, DUI causing injury poses extremely serious penalties, including substantial fines and lengthy terms of imprisonment.
This case – while a tragic reminder of the dangers of drunk driving – also exemplify the seriousness with which law enforcement and prosecutors treat DUI cases involving aggravating circumstances. Although the injured victim was Smith's girlfriend, he is still being prosecuted for a very serious crime. The same occurs whenever authorities arrest drivers for DUI with relative passengers, including minor children.
If you or someone in your family has been formally charged for DUI causing injury in Orange County, working with an experienced attorney should be your first priority. Our legal team is available to discuss your charges, the penalties you face, and how we work toward securing a positive outcome in both criminal proceedings and your DMV hearing.