Charges are being considered in a devastating and fatal car accident that left two West Palm Beach high school children dead and another two injured. The driver jumped a curb with his SUV striking the children. Authorities are still determining whether or not criminal charges will be filed. However, they are going to thoroughly investigate the matter.
Whether the driver is charged could come down to a tox screen and blood draw performed after the accident. Police also said they found a number of pills in the vehicle, but have yet to identify any that could cause inebriation.
Witnesses say the man seemed lethargic and out of sorts after the accident, but that could be interpreted as a head injury sustained during the accident. If police cannot find evidence of inebriation, they may not be able to file any charges at all.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the likely trajectory of the investigation.
The suspect will not be charged until the toxicology reports come back or some other information indicating the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash comes out. Prosecutors will wait until the last possible minute to press charges because once they do, the clock begins ticking down. So they want to have all the evidence they need to move the case forward before officially charging anyone. In terms of DUI, this means a 6 month lag between when the incident occurs and when formal charges are filed.
What happens if the tox screen comes back clean?
In a case like this where an individual loses control of their vehicle and strikes four pedestrians, the law wants to know why this incident occurred. Why does a regular-type driver who navigates the roadways reasonably effectively on a day-to-day basis lose control of his vehicle and strike four children at a bus stop? The most logical answer is intoxication. Other possibilities include severe distraction, a health crisis, or vehicle malfunction. In this case of severe distraction, the law can still charge the individual with vehicular manslaughter, but they have to prove culpable negligence. Having an unforeseeable health crisis would not qualify for charges. In some cases, mechanical failures can result in charges, but usually, these charges are only filed against truck drivers or professional drivers.
It’s unlikely that an individual who causes this type of accident would have their license reinstated until a doctor gave them a green light, assuming the tox screen is negative leaving the most likely explanation a health crisis.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. can help defend you from DUI charges in the State of Florida. Call our West Palm Beach criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options immediately.