Most auto accidents are investigated to determine who is at fault. In assessing fault, law enforcement determines if a driver was negligent, driving recklessly, or exhibiting willful misconduct. A driver who is found negligent, reckless or willfully harmful is held responsible for damages caused and can be sued for personal injury. In some cases, in Lebanon and Mt. Juliet an at-fault driver can also be criminally charged. The Lebanon criminal law firm of Lowery, Lowery & Cherry is experienced with legal matters and is here to help.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Criminal charges can be brought if a driver leaves the scene of an accident. Drivers have a duty to stop to determine the extent of damage or injury and provide first aid when an accident occurs. If a driver ignores this responsibility in Lebanon, it is likely he or she will be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if the accident is serious and involves injuries or fatalities, felony charges can be brought.
Reckless driving can also result in criminal charges when it causes a severe accident or injury. Driving can be considered reckless in Lebanon, Tennessee when the driver is drag racing, driving less than 45 miles per hour on an interstate highway, doing a wheelie on a motorcycle or even when driving through flooded areas.
Driving Under the Influence
Criminal charges are brought when drivers are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. The Nashville drug crime lawyer at Lowery, Lowery & Cherry is familiar with the laws in Tennessee and can help you with your case. DUI in Lebanon or Mt. Juliet will result in the driver being taken to jail and to court. If found guilty of DUI, a driver is fined and his or her driver’s license revoked. If a driver is driving under the influence and is involved in an accident that causes injuries to others, a charge of vehicular assault may be brought. Vehicular assault can result in a prison sentence.
When a driver is convicted of driving under the influence accompanied by a child under the age of eighteen, special child protection laws apply. DUI with a child present results in a minimum mandatory 30 day jail sentence and a minimum mandatory $1,000 fine. If the child suffers a severe injury a Class C felony applies, and if the child dies a Class D felony applies.
If you find criminal charges being brought against you in relation to an automobile accident, contact the car accident attorney in Lebanon, Lowery, Lowery & Cherry to protect your rights and to determine your best possible defense.