Unfortunately, it seems that now more than ever, people can’t stay off of their phones for as long as it takes to drive to their destination. This has resulted in a number of accidents and sadly, a number of deaths. Like many other situations, if a driver is negligent and causes the death of another individual, they may be facing criminal charges. For example, if someone chooses to drive under the influence of alcohol and causes a fatal accident, they will likely face criminal charges. Even though there is no specific criminal charge for a death caused by texting and driving, the state of Connecticut may still punish the negligent driver criminally.
The prosecutor may determine that the the negligent driver should be subject to crimes including negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, 2nd degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, or misconduct with a motor vehicle. The consequences associated with these crimes are severe and depending on the conviction, the guilty individual may face up to 10 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. Of course, the consequences depend wholly on which criminal charge, if any, the court believes is appropriate.
It is surprising that only five states throughout the United States have assigned criminal charges for fatalities caused by texting and driving. However, as more of these tragic deaths inevitably happen, it is likely that other states will create legislation that does so. Connecticut’s Office of Legislative Research conducted a study on the matter. The report shows that in Alaska, the death of an individual caused by unlawful use of an electronic device while driving is a Class A felony. The state has also imposed consequences for causing both physical injury and serious physical injury, both of which are also felonies.
If you have been involved in a fatal or injury-causing accident due to texting and driving, contact our firm today for experienced legal representation.
Marc N. Needelman is an experienced personal injury and criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of Connecticut. Contact the law firm to set up a free initial consultation.