Think about all of the close calls you have had while driving. Maybe you couldn’t see very far down a cross-road as you pulled out of a driveway, hoping no one was coming. Or maybe you had to slam on your brakes suddenly when the car in front of you made a quick turn without signaling. We have all been in these situations. While some fortunately remain close calls, others can lead to accidents.
No one means to cause a car accident, but sometimes they happen. As one Wheaton man recently found out, however, a serious car accident can result in criminal charges — no matter a person’s intent.
The 61-year-old man was driving in Chicago’s West Clearing neighborhood last week when he attempted to make a left turn. Unfortunately, a pedestrian was crossing the street at the same time, and the two collided.
The elderly pedestrian did not survive the accident. Now, the driver is facing charges of felony aggravated drunk driving along with failure to yield to a pedestrian and misdemeanor DUI.
Being in an accident is a frightening experience, whether you may have played a role in causing it or not. When a fatal accident results in charges against you, it can be even more overwhelming. Criminal charges like the ones this man is facing can lead to fines and jail time if he is convicted. It is important to keep in mind, however, that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Everyone accused of a crime has the right to defend themselves, whether they choose to seek a plea agreement for a lesser sentence or fight the charges in court. There is no doubt that fatal car accidents are tragic, but not all of them warrant jail time for a driver.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Cops: DUI charge in death of woman killed crossing SW Side street,” Dec. 13, 2013