Is Causing a Car Accident a Crime?

A car accident can result in a civil lawsuit. But it can also be considered a crime. Whether or not your case is a crime depends on the circumstances of your accident. Find out if your accident could be a crime and how you can fight the charges.

When is a Car Accident a Crime?

In all of the following situations, a car accident could be a crime:

Hit and Run

According to Florida law, a driver should stop at the scene of an accident. This isn’t only required at serious accidents, but at minor ones as well. If a driver fails to stop, they could be charged with a crime.

The penalty for your crime varies according to the situation. Usually, the penalty depends on the outcome of the collision. For instance, if a person suffered serious injuries and you left, the penalty could be jail time. Potential consequences include a suspended or revoked license, fines, prison time, and increased insurance rates.

Drunk Driving

If you’re guilty of drunk driving, you also could face criminal charges. In every state, drunk driving is a crime. While the BAC limits and consequences of the crime vary, the action is illegal throughout the U.S.

The penalties vary depending on the amount of prior offenses on your record. First-time offenders might be treated with leniency. However, second and third-time offenders could face harsher penalties.

You could receive a license suspension, fines, and jail time. In most cases, you will need to take a drunk driving course. You may also need to participate in a substance abuse program.

If you are guilty of drunk driving with a child, you could receive a felony conviction. The state does not take this type of case lightly.

Reckless Driving

If you drive recklessly and cause an accident, you could be convicted of a crime. This is typically the case when a reckless driver kid a pedestrian or someone in another vehicle.

For reckless driving to result in a conviction, there usually must be some type of overly aggressive or reckless behavior. For example, going 60 miles an hour in a school zone is excessive. A court could choose to convict a driver if someone experienced serious injury or death. If someone intended to hurt another individual, they are more likely to face charges and be convicted. Road rage is a common example of this.

Civil Charges

Criminal charges shouldn’t be your only concern. If you cause an accident, you could be on the receiving end of a civil lawsuit.

This is only when negligence is involved. If your negligence caused another individual to be injured, you could be held accountable for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. The lawsuit goes to civil court and could result in money going to the victim.

For the case to be successful, the victim needs to prove negligence. This isn’t easy to prove, but is often easier than proving criminal charges. Therefore, your accident could result in no criminal charges but you could face consequences from the civil case.

Working with an Attorney

In 2017, there were 32,389 injuries from car accidents in Miami-Dade County. Each year, many people are involved in car collisions. Whether you caused the accident or you’re a victim, you could benefit from working with an attorney.

An attorney can explain more about the consequences of a car accident. Furthermore, they can protect you from an unjust conviction. Contact 1-800-Injuredand start looking for your lawyer.

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