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Driver causes fire by crashing into a home

According to the Hartford County Sheriff's Department, a 54-year-old man from Bel Air, Maryland, crashed his pickup truck into a house on East MacPhail Road. The home was set on fire as the crash ruptured a propane gas line. The fire impacted the side of the home before a neighbor put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.

When backing his pickup truck up, the man also ran into another house, knocking it off its foundation, before he drove through both yards to drive away. Officers eventually found the man 20 minutes later and charged him with DWI, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and fleeing the scene of an accident.

Neither the driver nor the homeowners were hurt in the accident, and the driver has posted bail. The homeowners declined comment as they were shaken and upset by the events.

People charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol should definitely consider seeking the representation of a criminal lawyer. The penalties for DUI convictions vary based upon the circumstances surrounding the events. For example, if someone is injured in a DUI-related accident or dies as a result of one, then the consequences are much more severe and can even carry state prison sentences.

Penalties are made worse if the driver faces additional charges such as fleeing the scene or possession of an illegal substance. However, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may negotiate with the prosecution for lesser penalties. For example, a lawyer may attempt to convince a judge that enrolling the accused in a substance abuse treatment program would be a better option than simply sentencing him or her to the maximum jail sentence.

Source: WBAL TV, "Deputies: Drunk driver hit 2 homes, setting 1 on fire," April 26, 2013

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013