When an otherwise law-abiding person inadvertently becomes involved in a crime, unexpected instincts often produce alarming behavior. One of the most common examples of this phenomenon is the hit-and-run accident. A recent fatality in Beaumont provides a striking example of this phenomenon.
Beaumont police officers were sent to the 1800 block of South Major Drive at about 5:30 Sunday in response to a hit-and-run accident. When the officers arrived, they found the body of a 70-year-old man who had been struck by a motor vehicle. The driver of the vehicle appeared to have left the scene.
Police officers learned that the vehicle may have been a Chevrolet Tahoe, a small sports utility vehicle. Using this information, police were able to locate the vehicle and detain the driver. When questioned, the woman who owned the vehicle admitted that she had struck the pedestrian and then left the scene. She was arrested and taken to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, where she was charged with “failure to render aid” and with inflicting serious bodily injury. While police did not comment on the woman’s decision to flee the scene, at least one charge relating to her decision to leave the scene seems likely.
The woman is still incarcerated and awaiting her chance to enter a plea. The court will also set bail as a condition of the woman’s release from custody. The prosecutor can also add allegations to the original charges.
The defendant in this case faces serious penalties if she is convicted. She will lose her driving privileges, serve a term in jail and may be required to pay a significant fine. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on how to respond to the charges. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can evaluate the evidence, suggest legal arguments and strategies to defend against the allegations, and, when appropriate, attempt to negotiate an acceptable plea agreement.