Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, reckless driving, and fleeing law enforcement officers are some of the scenarios that can make a motor vehicle accident a crime. Law enforcement officers who come to the accident scene are responsible for deciding whether to charge a person with a crime because of the incident. The liable driver may face a criminal case and a separate civil lawsuit brought by the injured party.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Alcohol impairs judgment and slows down reaction time, hindering a driver’s capability to operate a vehicle safely. Drunk driving can result in deadly accidents. Consequently, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a crime in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.
If a drunk driver causes an accident, he or she will most likely be found liable and could face a minimum sentence of jail time, huge fines, probation, and license suspension. A drunk driver faces DUI charges when the blood test brings a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more.
A driver facing a DUI charge can increase the chances of getting a favorable outcome from his or her case by working with a DUI defense lawyer. The lawyer can gather relevant evidence and develop a strong defense to disprove the prosecution’s claims to get either the penalties lowered or the charges dropped altogether.
Vehicular manslaughter happens when someone drives a vehicle carelessly and dangerously, causing the death of someone else. Not all fatal accidents lead to vehicular manslaughter charges. A driver won’t face vehicular manslaughter charges if the court can determine that the crash was reasonably something beyond his or her control.
If the road conditions were poor, for instance, the driver is less likely to be found liable for the crash and then subjected to vehicular manslaughter charges. If the driver’s negligent or reckless acts while driving caused the accident, then he or she may face vehicular manslaughter.
A driver who escapes the accident scene before exchanging essential information with the other driver could face hit-and-run charges. These charges apply to even minor collisions, where a driver has fled the scene.
A victim of a hit-and-run accident should try the level best to note down any information regarding the vehicle and the driver. Some of the information to record include vehicle model, color, and registration plates. The victim should then call the police immediately.
Reckless driving refers to driving with total disregard for local traffic laws and the safety of other road users. Excessive speeding, carelessly changing lanes, and disobeying traffic laws are some of the common examples of reckless driving.
Reckless driving can result in serious motor vehicle accidents. A driver that injures other road users and causes significant property damage due to driving recklessly can face criminal charges and separate civil charges.
Fleeing the Law Enforcement Officers
Fleeing the law enforcement officers is a bad decision and a crime. The consequences are even more severe when the fleeing driver causes a crash that leads to serious injuries or property damages. Depending on the facts of the case, fleeing the police can result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge.