Mokaram Law Firm


Can you go to jail for causing a car accident?

Car accidents are sudden, unexpected tragedies that can change lives forever. Besides physical and psychological repercussions, these incidents are governed by a tangled web of legal principles concerning who was at fault and what compensation is due. Some even lead to criminal charges.

It is important to know the legal framework of car accidents in order to overcome this legal maze.

It must be remembered that there can be potential criminal charges that can arise from car accidents, such as reckless driving, DUI/DWI offenses, vehicular manslaughter, and hit-and-run incidents.

If you look for an accident lawyer near me you will find out how there is the possibility that you can end up in jail, but getting an answer to the question of “can you go to jail for causing a car accident?

Civil vs Criminal Liability

Before we dive into getting the answer to going to jail for a crime, it is very important that you understand the difference between civil and criminal liability.

Civil Liability

People’s civil liability in the event of car accidents is mainly an obligation to pay compensation for damage suffered by the victims. Here’s an explanation of civil liability:

Negligence: Negligence is a crucial concept in civil liability. It means not driving with a reasonable amount of care. If a driver’s negligence causes an accident, the driver can be held responsible for damages suffered.

Duty of Care: All drivers on the road are under a legal obligation of responsibility to others. So they have to drive their vehicles responsibly and safely so as not to endanger other road users.

Compensation: When civil liability is established, the person at fault or his insurance company may have to pay compensation to the victims for such losses as medical costs, land damage, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages.

Liability Determination: In order to hold the at-fault driver civilly liable, it must be established that his negligence led directly to the accident and subsequent injuries or damages.

Criminal Liability

In car accidents involving criminal liability, the driver may face possible charges of recklessness, negligence, or illegality. Here’s an explanation of criminal liability:

Reckless Driving: Willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others on the road falls under reckless driving. It is more than simple negligence; the results can be both civil responsibility (compensation) and criminal liability (punishment).

Criminal Charges: Vehicle collisions may lead to criminal charges, including reckless driving, DUI or DWI (driving under the influence of alcohol), and cases of vehicular manslaughter or hit and run.

Penalties: If found guilty, the driver can be subjected to penalties like fines, probation, suspension of license, and even jail. The point of criminal responsibility is not to reward the victims but to penalize the driver.

Prosecution: In criminal cases, law enforcement agencies investigate and may propose charges to be brought against one or more of those concerned before a prosecutor. The prosecutor then determines if the at-fault driver should face criminal charges.

Defense Strategies

Exploring possible defenses against criminal charges stemming from a car accident, you will find different techniques that are used to deal with criminal charges arising out of a car accident. Here’s an explanation of these defense strategies:

Lack of Evidence

The first of the most common defenses is to contest the prosecution’s evidence. This could be doubting the accuracy of eyewitness statements, the correctness of accident reconstruction, or the validity of toxicology tests.


If you can prove that you were not at the scene of the accident or driving the vehicle at the time, this could be a potent defense that you can use.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

The use of accident reconstruction experts can challenge the prosecution’s account. Experts can propose other explanations for the accident, denying allegations of recklessness or negligence.

Necessity or Emergency

Sometimes the defense argues that these things must have happened to prevent greater harm or an emergency. For example, swerving to avoid hitting a pedestrian is clearly understandable.

Mechanical Failure

If the accident was unavoidable and resulted from a mechanical malfunction that could not be foreseen or prevented, then this may constitute a defense. This is demonstrated by examples of maintaining a good car.

Mental Incapacity

In this accident, the driver was suffering from a mental illness or condition which interfered with his understanding of what he had done. This can be used as an argument in defense.

Legal Representation and Counsel

The Importance of having legal representation when criminal charges arise from a car accident underlines the need for legal representation when criminal charges result from an accident. Here’s an explanation of why it’s crucial:

Understanding the Legal System

For those charged with a crime, negotiating the legal system can be a difficult task. Your rights, your obligations, and potential outcomes will be taken care of by the skilled attorney as they can take you through the process.

Protection of Rights

The role of a defense attorney is to protect your legal rights. They ensure that police observe your rights under the constitution at the time of investigation and arrest.

Legal Expertise

Because attorneys understand criminal law very well, they can evaluate the evidence against you. They can spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and plan strong defense strategies.

Protection of Rights


Can you go to jail for causing a car accident?

The role of a defense attorney is to protect your legal rights. They ensure that police observe your rights under the constitution at the time of investigation and arrest.

Court Representation

If your case goes to court, an attorney will attend hearings, trials, and other legal proceedings on your behalf. They’ll argue for you, call, and cross-examine witnesses.

Mitigation of Penalties

If convicted, an attorney may be able to reduce penalties. They may seek reduced sentences, probation, or alternative sentencing.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Lawyers have the right to conduct their own investigations, gather evidence, and take statements from witnesses. They can also object to the evidence offered by the prosecution.

Emotional Support

Criminal charges can be emotionally unsettling. As well as legal advice, attorneys provide emotional support when you need it most.

Legal Advocacy

With legal representation, your story will be heard and fiercely fought for. Your lawyer can make claims that you are innocent and argue for a light sentence.

The best lawyers at Mokaram Law Firm can help you in dealing with such cases in the most suitable manner that benefits you in every way. 

Can you go to Jail After an Accident?

To answer this question, there is no definite answer to it. But, yes, you can go to jail for accidents. Whether or not someone goes to jail depends on the details of what happened and any relevant law in your area. If a driver’s actions are found to be reckless, negligent, or illegal, a car accident can lead to criminal charges.

It is worth noting that not all car accidents end in charges or prison. These accidents are usually dealt with through civil procedures, which stress compensation rather than punishment. 

But when criminal charges are a factor, the seriousness of those charges and potential penalties is determined by what jurisdiction you’re in and just how awful your accident was.

Mokaram Law Firm is here to Help!

If you think your accident was serious enough to go to jail, it is best to seek legal advice at the correct time.  

At Mokaram Law Firm, experienced staff will lead you through the legal process and protect your rights. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (281) 609-9224 for a free consultation if you have any questions or concerns. We can guide you through the legal maze and get the best results possible for your case.


Past results do not guarantee future performance. The $1B amount reflects the NFL concussion MDL settlement not an individual claim.

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If There Was No Injury Then There Is No Claim to be Filed.

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We can't provide a valuation for the claim if the accident is reported as "at fault" or if there's no clear determination of fault.

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