It is an unfortunate truth that many Americans are badly injured every year due to a car crash or car accident, a workplace accident, or more. Statistics are kept to determine how often and why Americans are harmed by workplace or road accidents, and a number of typical causes for injury have been determined. And in some cases, the at-fault party make find itself going to trial if litigation did not settle the matter. A drunk driver who injured someone in a crash, for example, may soon be going to trial for what they have done. Going to trial means hiring a criminal defense attorney. After a serious driver error incident such as drunk or distracted driving, and before going to trial, the at-fault party will want to mount a legal defense. How often does this happen? What might happen at the end of the trial?
Causes or Injury
Often, Americans are injured or even killed on the road, and traffic accidents are commonplace. Nearly 5.5 million car crashes take place in the United States every year, and nearly half of them result in injury for at least one person involved in the crash. In rarer cases, a person may even be killed. Traffic accident and injury rates are most common for teenagers and drivers in their early 20s, as these drivers have less experience and expertise. Younger drivers are often more reckless as well, and are certainly capable of illegally drinking and driving like some older drivers do.
A drunk driver will have impaired coordination, judgment, and reflexes on the road, and this makes them dangerous to themselves and others. A crash is much more likely when alcohol is involved, and even just driving with a high enough BAC (blood alcohol content) is illegal whether or not a crash took place. Distracted drivers are those who are preoccupied with a handheld electronic device in the car, and these drivers will often be too late to notice developments on the roads. Distracted drivers often run red lights or stop signs, and they may accidentally hit pedestrians, property, and other cars. For this reason, cell phone use while driving is often illegal.
If someone is charged with criminal acts such as driving drunk and causing a collision, going to trial may be the next step. The victim may hire a personal injury lawyer and pursue litigation against the at-fault party’s insurance company, while the perpetrator has a different situation. Someone accused of drinking and driving, or driving under the influence of other drugs, may face stiff penalties if they attempt to defend their case alone. Often, heavy fines, jail or prison time, and losing their license may be the end result. Someone charged with a crime would not want such serious penalties, so they can turn to criminal defense law firms in their area.
It is not just the victim who may look for legal representation in such a case. Someone who is going to trial for drunk driving can hire their own lawyer, and many law firms specialized in criminal defense. Some such firms may specialize in drunk driving in particular. Before going to trial, the accused may look up local law firms of this type and get consultations with the attorneys who work there (this may or may not incur a fee). The potential client may evaluate the lawyers based on their expertise, past experience, success rate, and their educational background. The accused may then find and hire a lawyer who fits their preferences.
When at court for DUI or DWI, the accused will allow his or her attorney to represent them and argue their case. Nothing is being guaranteed here, but a lawyer may be able to get some charges changed to milder ones or even dropped entirely in some cases. A criminal defense attorney may also be able to argue for milder penalties, such as lower fines, or exchanging jail time for community service and/or completing a court-mandated program for drinking or drug use. In this case, the convict will be responsible for attending and completing those rehab sessions. A breathalyzer might also be installed in the convict’s car, which allows them to continue driving, but prevents another case of drunk driving.