Truck accident cases can involve not just the initial accident, but also the direct causes and what may have been a contributory factor to it. Furthermore, if those contributory factors have come into play in previous matters as well, this creates a troubling pattern that may be pertinent too.
Civil matters with truck accidents often relate to the legal pursuit of compensation and other forms of remedy. They’re not criminal by nature and don’t necessarily relate to any criminal charges pending or with a known outcome already.
There are also truck accidents that lead to a potential felony case, which is the subject of this article. What types of situations could become a serious felony and what should you do as a truck driver to protect against it? Let’s find out.
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Vehicular Manslaughter or Homicide
When a truck driver gets into an accident and another driver, passenger, or pedestrian is killed, it becomes a potential felony. In some states, it may be considered a capital crime in the most severe of cases. With manslaughter, a case is being made that the death of another individual, while caused by the driver, was not intentional. A good example of this would be if the driver lost control due to inexperience but wasn’t under the influence and didn’t do it maliciously. For felony homicide cases, this is where there was either intent to harm, pre-planning or the person was irresponsible enough in their behavior that it’s pursued as a homicide, and not manslaughter. For this reason, if you are involved in a trucking accident, it’s imperative to hire the best truck accident lawyer to protect your interests. In felony cases related to trucking, an accident attorney will know what steps to take next.
Multiple DUI Convictions
DUI convictions relating to alcohol, or drugs (prescription or illicit) can cause impaired vision and poor judgment. On the road, a trucker can do plenty of damage to people, property, or themselves, for that matter, when they’re not in their right mind. Getting field-tested and found to have the wrong kind of substances in their system or being over the limit for alcohol may lead to being charged. However, when there are either multiple DUI issues or a series of them in the past, then it’s taken more seriously. At which point, it could be considered a serious felony because it’s endangering other people and the improper behavior has been pulled up before and has continued. Judges come down hard when it’s not a first-time DUI offense.
Reckless driving is also extremely serious. A charge for reckless driving could also be added onto charges relating to either an accident or a situation where the police stopped the truck driver before they could harm anyone. While dangerous driving could have multiple root causes, this may be separately charged as a felony offense.
Also, there are other potential charges such as leaving an accident scene or fleeing from pursuing law enforcement officers. These would be serious matters too.