Unfortunately, car accidents happen every day, at all times, and at any time. No matter how careful we may be when driving, there will always be situations where we may encounter reckless drivers, drivers with little driving experience, other accidents, or different emergencies.
Although most car accidents are not criminal in nature, some conditions can turn a car crash into a crime, where responsible drivers could face criminal charges and even be sent to prison. Some of these situations are described below:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol. Even though campaigns are carried out frequently to prevent drivers from mixing alcohol with being behind the wheel, more than a million people are arrested each year for driving while intoxicated. This situation causes severe injuries and even death. According to research, it is estimated that, in 2019, one person died every 52 minutes in the United States due to a car accident involving a drunk driver.
- Reckless Driving. Speeding, not respecting traffic signs, driving dangerously to enter and exit traffic, or change lanes, and not considering the safety of others or your own, are all examples of reckless driving. In most states, when filing criminal charges against the driver, the driver’s mental state at the time of the accident will be considered. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the severity of the injuries, or even the death of a person, it could be viewed as a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Hit and Run Accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious matter. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents happen very often. Failure to report an accident to the police when there is an injured person, an injured animal, damage to public or private property, or even to a parked car can lead to criminal charges. If you are involved in an accident, you must contact the police as soon as possible to report the damages.
- Fleeing the police. Attempting to escape from the police after an accident is a serious offense. There are times when even criminals find themselves on the run from the police after committing a crime, and in doing so, they cause car accidents. In these cases, the consequences can be much more severe.
If you have been involved in a car accident in which the other driver engaged in criminal conduct and you need legal help, call SM Law for help and representation.