Traditionally, when you made a mistake that resulted in car accident where a person was injured, the remedy was a civil lawsuit. These kinds of lawsuit are only about determining the amount of money that should compensate the injured person for their injuries. Then, for some reason, Arizona came up with a new twist: A.R.S. § 28-672.
The law provides that it is a crime, if you cause a serious physical injury (or death), as a result of violating some common traffic offenses such as:
Running a red light.
Driving outside your lane.
Failing to yield the right of way entering an intersection.
Failing to yield when turning left.
Failing to stop at a stop sign.
Failing to yield at a crosswalk for a pedestrian.
Failing to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
School zone violations.
Failing to stoop for a school bus.
A violation of the statute is a class 1 misdemeanor. The potential penalties include a term of jail. However, jail is at the discretion of the court and not required.
Driver’s License Penalties
In addition to being the potential criminal penalties you must also be concerned about your driver’s license. A conviction requires that you successfully complete traffic survival school.
The law require that the court shall report a conviction for a violation to the Arizona MVD. Previously the law required:
1. For a first violation of this section, may direct the department to suspend the person’s driving privilege for not more than one hundred eighty days if the violation results in serious physical injury and not more than one year if the violation results in death.
2. For a second or subsequent violation of this section within a period of thirty-six months, shall direct the department to suspend the person’s driving privilege for one hundred eighty days if the violation results in serious physical injury and one year if the violation results in death.
However, a recent change now mandates:
For a first violation of this section, may shall direct the department to suspend the person’s driving privilege or restrict the person’s driving privilege as described in section 28–144 for at least ninety days and not more than one hundred eighty days if the violation results in serious physical injury and at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year if the violation results in death.
Approved by the Governor, April 30, 2019, 2019 Ariz. Legis. Serv. Ch. 153.
Are you entitled to a jury trial if charged with a violation of A.R.S. § 28-672?
Do the law require you intended to cause the accident or injury to violate A.R.S. § 28-672?
Important Case Law:
- Phoenix City Prosecutor’s Office v. Honorable Monyette Nyquist and Jamie Hernandez-Alejandro, 243 Ariz. 227, 404 P.3d 255 (2017).
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