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Fleeing the scene: How to make a bad accident worse

If you're involved in a deadly accident, whether or not drugs and alcohol played a part, one of the only ways you can make the situation worse for yourself is to flee the scene.

Leaving the scene of an accident just gives the prosecutor more ammunition to bring into court against you. In addition, a short-sighted action like that is going to be hard for your attorney to overcome because it points toward both a consciousness that you'd done something wrong and a purposeful disregard for the lives of the other people involved in the accident.

That's advice that a 27-year-old Ridgeland man could have probably used prior to the accident he caused when his truck crossed the center line and crashed into the car of an 18-year-old, killing him. The older driver had been drinking heavily, according to reports, and reeked of alcohol. In addition to killing the young driver of the other vehicle, he left behind the two injured passengers in his own vehicle. Both of those men suffered incapacitating injuries of their own.

When the 27-year-old faced the judge, his attorney tried to convince the judge to give the defendant a $20,000 bail with the option to pay a bond of $2,000. The judge declined, saying that the defendant was "a danger to the community."

The driving under the influence charge faced by the defendant is considered a felony because the accident resulted in someone's death. He might have avoided a parcel of other charges, however, including leaving the scene of an accident and two additional felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injuries (counting his two passengers), had he not fled.

The multiple felonies involved and the defendant's actions following the accident are going to make it less likely for the prosecution or judge show leniency, especially if the bail hearing is any indication of the sentiments felt by the court on the issue.

Obviously, the best choice is to avoid drinking and driving. However, if you make a mistake, don't compound your problems by making another and trying to flee.

No matter what the circumstances behind your felony DUI charges, contact a defense attorney for help. Your attorney will work hard to try to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

Source: The Beaufort Gazette, "Judge: Ridgeland man facing felony DUI charge a ‘danger to the community’," Joan McDonough, Jan. 18, 2017

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