Suburban drivers are familiar with the uptick in the pedestrian traffic that comes with Halloween trick-or-treating. All those kids on the street increase the possibility of an accident, which makes it important to be extra mindful of driving habits. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths caused by car-versus-pedestrian accidents account for 11% of all traffic accident deaths.
What happens if a driver strikes a child or parent on Halloween? From a criminal standpoint, if an accident is truly an accident, there may be no charges. However, if the driver was speeding or distracted, that may change things, and he or she could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
In order to obtain a conviction of vehicular manslaughter (also called vehicular homicide), or the less-severe involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors would have to prove that the driver was driving with reckless disregard of the substantial risk. This could include excess speed (generally defined as 30 mph or more over the posted limit) or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The punishment varies based on circumstances, but often carries one to four years in prison plus thousands of dollars in fines.
If an accident does occur, it is imperative that no one flees the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in a $250 fine, three points on your license, and 15 days in jail, in addition to any other charges from the accident itself.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident in which speeding, alcohol, or other traffic violations is a factor, you must consult an attorney right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced in handling tickets and criminal charges for driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.