Most people are cautious when they drive. They understand they’re operating a multiple-ton vehicle, and they need to follow all traffic laws and not do anything reckless or careless.
There are always exceptions, though. Maybe you operate a vehicle recklessly or carelessly sometimes, or perhaps you did it just once, and the cops happened to see you and pull you over. Whether the behavior was habitual or a single incident, that’s when you’ll need to locate and hire an experienced vehicular crime lawyer.
Let’s look at some of the activities that might lead your hiring one.
1. Drinking and Driving
As the DM Cantor Law Office states on their website, if you drink and drive, and a police officer catches you, then “you will have a date in Justice Court.” That’s an intimidating prospect.
Your driving school probably warned you against drinking and driving, and you probably have heard many other people talk about it too. Maybe you’ve even seen a car wreck on the side of the road and wondered whether it involved a drunk driver.
Doubtless, you know you’re not supposed to do it, but maybe you’re at a bar one night, or you’re over at a friend’s house. You’ve had a few beverages, but you feel that driving home over the limit just this once will probably be okay.
Unfortunately, sometimes all it takes is one drunk driving incident. If the police pull you over and give you a breathalyzer, it can prove that you’re over the legal limit.
That’s one situation where it makes sense to hire the best lawyer possible. Maybe they can help you plead your case in court, so the judge doesn’t throw the book at you.
Some people see one too many “Fast and Furious” movies, and they decide that street racing looks like fun. Remember, though, that in an ironic twist, it was driving too fast that killed Paul Walker, that franchise’s star.
The cops regard street racing as very dangerous, and they’re not wrong to think about it that way. You can definitely injure or kill yourself or someone else. This is a particularly egregious vehicular offense because you can’t claim you did it unintentionally.
You can hire a lawyer to help you, and they might be able to get you a plea deal. If this is your first offense, things will probably go better for you.
3. Hit and Run Accidents
Maybe you hit another vehicle or a person. Perhaps you hit an inanimate object, and then you fled the scene.
That’s a serious offense, and if the police catch up with you later, they’re probably going to hit you with multiple charges. You might get reckless endangerment, leaving an accident scene, and more.
Your attorney can explain that you panicked at that moment and made a mistake. It’s a bad look for you, but again, if you had a clean record before this incident, that will help somewhat.
If you’ve had multiple legal troubles, even a great lawyer will have a hard time doing very much for you. Still, it’s their job, and they might be able to get a judge to take pity on you.
4. Negligent Vehicular Homicide
Negligent vehicular homicide is one of the more serious vehicular offenses that exist. If you kill someone with your car, and the police determine or suspect that reckless or careless behavior played a part in it, avoiding jail time will be tough.
If you get an experienced attorney, they might be able to get a judge to reduce your sentence. Maybe they can try to claim that some mitigating circumstances existed that led to your acting the way you did.
They also might be able to get you a plea deal. Any time you agree not to go through with a whole criminal trial, the court system appreciates that.
Still, this is an offense that’s probably going to lead to severe consequences for you, which, frankly, is as it should be. You took a human life, and if your negligent behavior while driving caused that, you deserve more than a slap on the wrist.
5. Criminal Speeding
Some people don’t think that speeding is a very serious crime. If you go three miles over the speed limit while you’re on the highway, most cops will probably look the other way on that.
However, when you start going much faster than the speed limit, that’s when you’re asking for a ticket, or worse. You also might go way faster than the speed limit in a residential area where there are lots of children. Maybe you sped through a school zone during school hours, or you failed to stop for a school bus with its lights on.
Doing any of that can land you in front of a judge. Once again, you’ll need a lawyer who can plead your case as eloquently as possible. If you’ve never done this before, you can probably avoid jail time.
Many other vehicular violations exist, and the police and the court system look at several of them harshly. There’s unlawful flight from the police, or driving on a suspended license. There’s aggressive driving and aggravated vehicular assault.
Each case is certainly different, and many factors will determine your fate. Probably your attitude will be the most significant contributor, though.
Any judge should look favorably on you acting remorseful about your actions. If you tell them that you’re sorry about what happened and you’ll never do it again, it’s going to go a lot better for you than if you smirk at them or act like you don’t care about your action’s consequences.
If you have a lengthy criminal record, particularly of a vehicular nature, it’s harder to take an apology seriously. That’s why, if you ever do get yourself in this sort of trouble, you should make sure you never do anything like it again. Mending your ways is best for you and society as well.