A 17-year-old St. Johns County teen was charged this month in the crash that critically injured his friend and teammate. Charges were filed five months after the near-fatal crash, according to a report on News4Jax. The teen driving was charged with participating in an unlawful race and with reckless driving causing serious injury, the television station reported. The racing charge is a misdemeanor, but the reckless driving count is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. Neither police nor prosecutors have said whether they plan to charge the teen as an adult or as a juvenile.
The crash occurred when the driver lost control of his pickup truck while racing another vehicle, the television station reported. Police said the driver admitted at the scene he was racing and driving faster than 90 mph, the television station reported. A passenger was thrown from the vehicle and suffered severe head trauma in the crash. One complicating factor in the charges is the victim's father saying he was disappointed in the arrest and that the driver and his son are close friends, the television station reported. That adds a layer of difficulty for the state. What could be happening is that prosecutors may know they will be offering probation or another seemingly minor penalty in the case, but felt some charges were necessary because of the admission from the driver at the scene and the severity of the injuries in this St. Johns County Traffic Case.
Ordinarily, careless driving in a St. Johns County Traffic Case is nothing more than a traffic citation that could result in a fine and points on a person's driver's license. But when someone is seriously injured, the case then carries criminal penalties. These St. Johns County Criminal Traffic Cases can be difficult for both sides because, clearly, there was not a criminal intent for the teen to hurt his friend. Cases like these are inherently different from those in which there's a fight or a shooting or some sort of active decision made to intentionally harm someone. That's not the case here, in this St. Johns County Juvenile Case. These are teens making a mistake that ended up having serious consequences, and even the victim's family appears to be against criminal charges. There's no indication that alcohol was a factor in this crash, which will likely be a significant factor in the possibility of a more lenient sentence if the driver is convicted or pleads guilty to the charges.
Our St. Johns County Traffic Attorney knows that many people who find themselves charged in serious traffic charges do not have a lengthy criminal history, nor are they familiar with the system. Our St. Johns County Juvenile Crimes Attorney can explain the charges, the potential penalties and the process to help resolve the case in the best manner possible.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Juvenile Crimes Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.