The majority of traffic violations don’t involve a criminal element. Sadly, there are specific scenarios that can put a driver under criminal charges.
For those who end up in severe vehicular scenarios, it’s best to work with a lawyer to guarantee the best outcome for any involved parties.
The usual vehicular accident scenarios that can result in criminal charges include reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run accidents, and fleeing the police.
If you’re eager to know more about these car accident scenarios that’ll require the services of a criminal lawyer, here are the common ones:
5 Car Accident Scenarios That Require A Criminal Lawyer
#1. Reckless Driving
Driving is a daily part of life, and in every state, there are laws to follow on how one must act when operating a vehicle.
Due to the potentially dangerous nature of cars, driving in an unsafe manner is a crime with significant penalties.
Reckless driving is the act of operating a vehicle that poses a threat to others and without regard for the local traffic laws.
The following are examples of reckless driving:
- Disregarding traffic signals
- Distracted driving
- Exorbitant speeding / over speeding
- Dangerously weaving in and out of traffic
- Drunk driving
In most states, the mental condition of the driver is a determining factor in whether or not criminal charges will be issued.
Individuals who recklessly drive and cause accidents resulting in injuries or property damage are likely to be charged with a criminal offense.
Depending on the seriousness of the car accident you’re in, getting help from a reliable criminal lawyer is the best move you’ll make.
If you want to learn how the process works, checking out lawyer Parikh and others would help.
#2. Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
Many drivers end up under arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Every year, most DUI accidents can cause significant property damage, serious injuries, and even death.
Although aggressive campaigns highlight the dangers of driving while intoxicated, accidents still occur.
In every state, there are stern sanctions for those with a DUI charge such as probation, jail time, fines, and suspension of license, among others.
The DUI laws aim to prevent motorists from operating a vehicle while in an impaired state.
The law enforcement officers in different states utilize tools to enforce the law and detect impairment such as DUI checkpoints, blood tests, breath analyzers, and field sobriety tests (FSTs).
In most cases, the laws apply whether the impairment was due to alcohol or other substance. A person can get a DUI charge for driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.
Take note, it doesn’t matter whether the substance was an over-the-counter medication, illegal drug, or prescribed medication by a doctor.
In almost every country, hit-and-run accidents occur yearly and at troublesome rates.
Various factors can lead to this type of car accident such as negligence of the driver or certain conditions such as the current weather.
Victims of the crime often pay their medical bills and find ways to recover from the damages. Perpetrators of hit-and-run accidents are likely to face high fines and jail time.
The criminal penalties for a hit-and-run accident vary from state to state. Most states categorize the penalties for a hit-and-run as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances.
A felony hit-and-run case involves leaving the scene of the accident where there’s any form of injury to a person, whether the individual is a pedestrian or an occupant of the vehicle.
The penalties for it can be a hefty fine with a potential for incarceration. In some states, the authorities categorize a hit-and-run as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Although some consider the term to be trivial, it can be punishable by a high fine and even jail time up to a year.
Aside from the criminal penalties, almost all states impose administrative penalties on the driver’s license. In most circumstances, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for imposing penalties.
When you have a conviction of a hit-and-run case, whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor, it results in an immediate suspension or revocation of your license for six months or longer.
#4. Fleeing The Police
In a vehicular accident, fleeing the police isn’t a good idea because in most instances, you’ll end up with criminal charges.
When a driver causes an accident and flees, it can result in even more severe consequences.
Whether a person flees on foot or in a motor vehicle, you’ll end up with charges for any attempt to evade the police for any reason. If you don’t respond, police officers will consider it as fleeing.
The authorities will also consider running if you show any efforts to increase the speed or turn off the lights.
As for the punishments, a person can end up with a hefty fine or even imprisonment. Even if you fled for a short while before surrendering to the police, the judge might be forgiving.
Nevertheless, there’ll always be a felony charge on your background checks and needs to be revealed to future employers.
#5. Vehicular Manslaughter
A vehicular manslaughter case occurs when a driver operates a vehicle dangerously and irresponsibly, resulting in the death of another individual. Based on the circumstances, one can end up with a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Generally, if the facts point that it’s ordinary negligence by the driver, it can be a misdemeanor. If the driver acted carelessly, it’s likely a felony.
When a driver unintentionally causes an accident resulting in the death of the passengers, occupants of other vehicles, or pedestrians, it’s going to be a vehicular manslaughter case.
It’s crucial to remember that a vehicular manslaughter charge is fitting in instances when the driver was taking alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, driving recklessly, or driving illegally.
Depending on the seriousness of car accident scenarios, certain cases will require the services of a criminal lawyer.
Getting in touch with a reliable attorney for those circumstances will make the case easier to manage and proceed with the necessary actions.