Careless Driving Causing Injury or Death
The law in Colorado treats careless driving that causes injury or death very seriously. But to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must prove that certain conditions have been met. This means that if an individual is charged with careless driving causing injury or death, it must be proven that their actions violated every part of the law.
If you have been arrested for careless driving, it is important to secure the legal counsel of a skilled criminal defense attorney in Denver, CO. Your criminal defense attorney can investigate the evidence and spot any inconsistencies to undermine the prosecution’s argument.
Denver Careless Driving Lawyer
If you have been arrested for careless driving causing injury or death, don’t make the mistake of ignoring the charge or thinking you can handle it on your own. A conviction for a traffic crime could result in serious jail time and expensive fines. To retain skilled legal representation, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. can help you understand your rights and options when dealing with a careless driving charge. We will be with you every step of the way, helping you avoid losing your driving privileges. To schedule a free consultation, call (303) 725-0017 today.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area including Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Lyons, Lakewood, Golden, Evergreen, Morrison, Englewood, and Centennial.
- Careless Driving Causing Injury or Death in CO
- Penalties for Careless Driving in Colorado
- Defenses for Careless Driving Causing Injury or Death
- Additional Resources
Careless Driving Causing Injury or Death in CO
Colorado’s careless driving causing injury or death law says:
(1) Any person who drives any motor vehicle, bicycle, or motorized bicycle in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances, is guilty of careless driving.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, but if the person’s actions are the proximate cause of bodily injury or death to another, such person commits a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense.
It is important to understand that Colorado law requires that a person first be found guilty of careless driving before they can be convicted of careless driving causing injury or death. The critical difference between the two offenses is that someone was injured or killed as a direct result of an individual’s careless driving.
It is also important to note that careless driving does not require intent. That means the accused can be found guilty of careless driving by simply making an accidental mistake.
A few examples of what would be considered careless driving are:
Example 1 – The defendant is speeding and fails to see an upcoming stop sign and, as a result, causes a car accident at the intersection.
Example 2 – The defendant is distracted by their phone while driving and runs into the back of the vehicle directly in front of them.
Example 3 – The defendant is going around a sharp curve at an unreasonably high rate of speed which then causes the vehicle to go off the road and hit a pedestrian.
Penalties for Careless Driving in Colorado
According to Colorado law, careless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor. A conviction can result in:
- Up to 90 days in jail
- Fines of up to $300
Careless driving that causes injury or death is a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction can result in penalties of:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Fines of up to $1000
In addition to the criminal penalties associated with careless driving causing injury or death, an individual found guilty of that offense may also suffer adverse consequences to their driving record. If convicted of careless driving, as many as four points could be added to the defendant’s driving record.
Defenses for Careless Driving Causing Injury or Death
There are a variety of legal defenses to careless driving that causes injury or death. The circumstances surrounding each case will determine which defense can be successfully raised. Some of the more common legal defenses to careless driving that causes injury or death are:
There was an emergency – Traveling at a high rate of speed or going through a stop sign may be necessary if an individual is faced with an emergency. Consider a circumstance where a driver is experiencing a medical emergency and must immediately get to a hospital. That situation may require excessive speed and could be used as a defense against a careless driving charge.
The careless driving did not cause the victim’s injuries – To be found guilty of careless driving causing injury or death, it must be shown that the careless driving was the cause of the injuries or death of another person. So, if the victim was injured due to their negligence and not careless driving, then that may present a defense to a careless driving that causes injury or death charge.
The individual charged was not driving – If there were multiple people in the car when police stopped it on suspicion of careless driving, then it must be proven that the person charged with the offense was the one driving carelessly. If the police or other witnesses cannot say for sure who was driving, then that may present a defense to a careless driving charge.
The driving was not careless – Sometimes accidents happen, and they could not have been prevented. Simply because a vehicle crashed into another one does not mean that one or both parties were at fault. An example would be an animal on the road that caused a driver to swerve and collide with another car.
Colorado Driving Institute – Provider of driving instruction for over 25 years in Colorado. Their website provides information on safe driving techniques and updates on new traffic laws in the state.
DriveSmart Colorado – A community-based traffic safety program. DriveSmart has been nationally recognized and has won awards for its efforts to reduce car accidents and the injuries that result from them.
Colorado Careless Driving Causing Injury or Death Attorney | Denver, CO
If you’ve been accused of careless driving, don’t accept the consequences without a fight. You can retain a skilled traffic crime lawyer in Denver, CO who can give you the guidance you need to dispute your violation before it harms your driving record. Allow Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. to be that specific attorney.
To schedule a free consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., call (303) 725-0017 today. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area and surrounding counties such as Arapahoe County, Adams County, Douglas County, Broomfield County, Jefferson County, and Boulder County.