There are many legal penalties that a driver can be subjected to for driving carelessly. The more negligent the were, the more severe their legal punishment will be. Apart from the intensity of their negligence, many other factors also contribute to their final punishment. These factors include the driver’s previous driving record, the state they were in when the accident took place, their level of insurance, and how many individuals were involved in the accident.
Drivers can face anything from increased insurance rates to jail time depending on how bad their situation is. Let’s look at the penalties a person can face for various types of accidents:
Hit and run: A hit and run accident is basically when a driver hits another driver, a pedestrian, or a piece of public property but they keep on driving without trying to contact authorities or lend a hand to fix the damage which they caused.
In such a case, a person can be subjected to $5000-$20,000 in fines depending on whether their hit and run is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. If there was personal injury or the death of a person involved, the case will be classified as a felony and the legal repercussions will be much higher. A hit and run which is classified as a felony may even lead a person to face up to 15 years in prison.
Driving under the influence: If a driver is arrested for DUI, they will be penalized based on whether this was their first offense and also on how intoxicated they were. Drivers who are caught DUI can be subjected to paying fines, doing community service, having their license suspended, and being forced to drive only with an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.
An officer can arrest a person for DUI if it appeared that the driver was not in their proper senses or if the driver had a BAC level of 0.08% or higher.
Reckless driving: Reckless driving is defined as any driving which shows indifference towards the well-being of the other drivers and pedestrians on the road. This is a very broad crime and can result in anything from $50-$1000 in fines and mandatory community service to several months in prison. The penalties for reckless driving go up if other aggravating factors are associated with the crime such as property damage or the injuring of another person.
A person can be arrested for reckless driving if an officer feels like the driver was operating their vehicle in an unreasonable manner which was hindering the proper use of the road for all the other drivers.
How can I reduce my charges?
Naturally, anyone who has gotten into an accident, whether it was due to their negligence or not, will want to do everything in their power to reduce their penalties. Calling an accident lawyer is the first step which they should take to decrease their chances of facing severe penalization. A lawyer will be able to pull out legal references and create defenses to reduce the charges being laid against the driver in question.