Reckless Driving Causing Personal Injury Attorney
Charges of Reckless Driving Causing Personal Injury are serious and judges routinely order jail time and stringent, lengthy terms of probation. It takes a top criminal defense lawyer to protect a client from these charges.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
Reckless Driving is defined as “willful” or “wanton” disregard for the safety of other people whether they are in cars or not. Willful means deliberate and intentional. Wanton means deliberate and unprovoked. The statute does not mean a person intentionally and deliberately hurt someone. It means a person drove with a deliberate and intentional disregard for the safety of other persons or property, which resulted in the harm and injuries. Examples of these are so-called “road rage,” driving at very high speeds, driving too fast for road conditions, and driving in such an unsafe manner that one could assume an accident will probably occur and someone will be hurt, to name a few.
What is the Penalty for Reckless Driving Causing Personal Injury?
A person who operates a motor vehicle in willful, wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property and in doing so causes the “serious impairment of a bodily function” of another person, is guilty of a felony punishable by 5 years in jail or a fine between $1,000-$5,000, or both, and up to 5 years probation. In addition to the criminal penalties and fines, Michigan law also provides for the immobilization or forfeiture of the vehicle involved if the defendant owns the vehicle.
“Serious impairment of a bodily function” (according to case law) is defined as:
- An objectively manifested impairment (observable or perceivable from actual symptoms or conditions),
- of an important body function (a body function of value, significance or consequence to the injured person) which
- affects the person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life.
There are many various types of injuries which could form the basis of this definition, including (according to statute):
- Loss of a limb or loss of use of a limb.
- Loss of a foot, hand, finger, or thumb or loss of use of a foot, hand, finger, or thumb.
- Loss of an eye or ear or loss of use of an eye or ear.
- Loss or substantial impairment of a bodily function.
- Serious visible disfigurement.
- A comatose state that lasts for more than 3 days.
- Measurable brain or mental impairment.
- A skull fracture or other serious bone fracture.
- Subdural hemorrhage or subdural hematoma.
- Loss of an organ.
Do People Usually do Jail Time if Convicted of Reckless Driving Causing Personal Injury?
As can be imagined, these cases are treated very sternly by most judges. If you do not have a top-rated, astute criminal defense attorney, you will be in jeopardy of doing jail time. It is critical that you retain a seasoned, veteran criminal defense attorney who knows the possible defenses to this charge. For example, the contributory fault of the injured person can be used as a defense, to name but one example.
In many of these cases, there is a second side to the story. Unfortunately, police, prosecutors, and judges are very reluctant to consider anything the defendant may want to say in his or her defense. It is the job of the defense lawyer to find a way for the defendant’s story to be told in a credible, persuasive, and positive way. The defendant is a person too and he or she has a life, job, and family to be protected.
Defenses to Reckless Driving Causing Personal Injury
There are many ways to defend Reckless Driving Causing Personal Injury charges. The defense lawyer first looks at the facts of the case, the police report, accident reconstruction reports, and any audio or video evidence to see if there is a way to argue that the driving was not reckless. If the operation of the care was careless, that is not enough! Secondly, the injury may really be minor and the police or the victim may be exaggerating the extent of the medical situation. Finally, the defense may involve mitigating the sentence to avoid jail or prison if there is no way to avoid a conviction. Every defendant charged with this offense has a right to have all of their rights protected and even a jury trial if desired.
How do I Find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney for a Reckless Driving Causing Injury Charge?
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is widely known for providing the highest caliber defense available in Michigan. We are almost always successful in keeping our clients out of jail if there is a conviction, and our primary goal is to make sure there is no conviction at all. We take the time to thoroughly prepare and develop a strategy to get the best possible results. If you are charged with felony Reckless Driving in any court in Southeast Michigan, contact us and we will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.