Vehicular Crimes

: Possible Charges After an Accident
Vehicular Crimes: Possible Charges After an Accident

Most car accidents are truly accidental. Even if the at-fault driver was negligent, a collision does not mean a crime was committed. However, there are some vehicular crimes that you could face charges for, depending on the specific circumstances. If this is the case, hiring a criminal defense attorney can help you understand the factors that influence your case.

Here are some possible charges for vehicular crimes:

Reckless Driving

Someone can make a mistake while driving without this being a crime. However, there is a difference between an honest mistake and reckless driving, which is a criminal offense. Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-693 defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle in a way that demonstrates a lack of regard for the safety of people or property. Some examples can include excessive speeding, cutting other drivers off, and following too closely behind another vehicle. This is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Failing to Comply with Police

It is important to comply with law enforcement officers at the scene of an accident. If you do not, this can be a criminal charge under ARS 28-622.


Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Arizona. If an officer has a reasonable suspicion that one of the drivers involved in an accident is intoxicated, they may conduct field sobriety tests or check that driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). ARS 28-1381 outlines what DUI is and possible penalties. A standard first-offense DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor. Other statutes apply for extreme, super extreme, or aggravated DUI.

Hit and Run

After an accident, you have a legal obligation to remain at the scene and exchange information with other drivers and/or law enforcement. If you do not do this, you can be charged with leaving the scene, more commonly known as hit and run. This ranges from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 2 felony, depending on whether anyone was injured and if you caused the accident. ARS 28-661, ARS 28-662, and ARS-663 all describe this crime.

Aggravated Assault

If you caused a car accident that resulted in serious physical injury, you could face aggravated assault charges. This is because a vehicle qualifies as a dangerous instrument under ARS 13-1204, which defines aggravated assault. This charge might apply if the accident meets the other qualifications for an assault charge, namely that you caused the injury through recklessness (ARS 13-1203).


Causing an accident that leads to the death of another individual could result in a manslaughter charge. This is described in ARS 13-1103. Like aggravated assault, the prosecution must prove that the defendant acted "recklessly" in order to make a conviction.

Charges for Multiple Vehicular Crimes

In many cases, you can face more than one criminal charge due to a car accident. This can make your case even more complicated. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of your specific situation.

DUI Defense Team

Our law office handles criminal cases, including crimes related to motor vehicle accidents.

If you are facing charges for a vehicular crime, contact us today for a free consultation.
2929 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ. 85716
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