Have you ever been at fault in a car accident?
My Dad has this saying and while I was learning to drive, I heard it over and over again.
They’re called accidents because they are accidents; no one gets into an accident on purpose.
While as a teenager I may have rolled my eyes at him but his words never left me. Still even today when I get into my car I am reminded that saying and how frequent accidents can happen. You look down at your phone, you think you can make a light when you can’t, and then suddenly you are in an accident.
After the accident has happened, your first thought is usually, “Am I ok?”. Then you think, “Is everyone ok?”. Once you know everyone is all right, you start to assess the damage. One thought that does not usually come in is, “Will I have criminal charges because of this?”
One man, however, recently had charges dropped after he drove too quickly through a blinking yellow light and hit car and injured 2 people. Charges were dropped due to the witnesses refusing to release their medical records. In Michigan, witnesses have to release their medical records in order to testify.
The Detroit Free Press reported,
We weren’t getting cooperation,” she said. “He’s got the right to not release his records but we were getting two different versions of how extensive they were, and now the public will never know.
Anthony Prainito, the 31-year-old driver who had faced 3 misdemeanors, was instead given a civil infraction that would cost him $125 in a fine. The Free Press continued to report that the witness cited privacy as the reason he chose not to release his medical record and both the witnesses are doing well in their recovery.
A quick look at your cell phone can lead to criminal charges. With the help of a defense lawyer, your criminal charges may be able to be reduced to civil infractions. Remember you never have to face criminal charges alone.