When we think of car accidents we think of damage done to the cars, swapping insurance info, etc. But what about criminal charges for a car crash?
This past Friday night in Orlando, the driver of a pickup truck smashed into the back of a LYNX bus. The driver could be facing serious charges. Of course any charges against the driver are pending, as a police investigation into the crash has begun. Luckily no passengers on the bus were injured in the crash and the driver walked away with only minor injuries, despite severe damage to the pickup.
So what could the driver be looking at in court? If the police believe the driver was speeding or went through a red light or stop sign, then the driver could be facing a reckless driving charge. Normally "reckless driving" is a criminal traffic offense. A driver convicted of reckless driving the first time is subject to a maximum sentence of 90 days, and/or a fine no less than $25 and no more than $500. A second conviction and the driver can receive up to 6 months jail time and/or a fine of no less than $50 or no more than $1,000. Now a case like this one involving an accident is an entirely different matter. A crash resulting in property damage when the driver is considered to be reckless is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. While this driver was lucky that no one was injured, if there had been injuries then a felony offense would occur. That would be punishable by up to 5 years prison and a $5,000 fine. If there's a death resulting from the crash, then a driver may be charged with vehicular homicide.
No matter how insignificant you believe your car accident is, you must get in touch with a lawyer.