Licensed mechanic facing a felony charge? Yes, it happens.
In 2015, the Vermont Attorney General charged a licensed mechanic with manslaughter and reckless endangerment. Unfortunately, a customer was killed in a 2014 auto accident partly due to brake failure. The guilty mechanic passed this vehicle through inspection just a few months prior. After the accident, investigators discovered badly rusted brake lines as well as a badly rusted vehicle frame.
Sadly, the mechanic’s possible motive was to save an elderly couple in their 80’s some money. He warned them on a prior visit about the rusted brake lines, but the husband refused the repair. On a subsequent visit, he passed their vehicle through inspection.
Vehicle inspection laws in Vermont changed in 2013. Vermont car inspectors now MUST fail cars with rusted brake lines. Fellow Vermont mechanics say the judge used this case as a harsh example to warn them.
Now this mechanic is paying a heavy price. Loss of career. Ruined reputation in town. A felony on his record. Jail time. Just imagine if this happened to you in your early 30’s!
Other mechanics are rightly alarmed. Brake lines rust quickly in Vermont. Overzealous mechanics are often accused of price-gouging. How often do you need your brake lines repaired, after all?
You may surprised, as I was.
Did you know that rusted brake lines are a common problem even if your car is only five years old?
Harsh winter weather attacks your brake lines. Washing the undercarriage of your car helps slow down the deterioration. Obviously, the brake lines need regular inspection by a trained mechanic.
According to RepairPal (www.repairpal.com), you can expect to pay between $144 to $193 per brake line replacement. Dealers command the highest brake repair fees. If one brake line is going bad, it is likely the other three lines will fail shortly thereafter.
Forking out $600 or more dollars IS a small fortune if you are on a fixed income. However, facing a felony charge is far costlier.
On the flip side of the coin, if you fail to maintain your own car, you also could face a felony charge.
What if you accidentally kill someone because your brakes failed? Did you fail to have your brake pads, rotors, and lines repaired or maintained in a timely manner?
The courts in Missouri could potentially charge you with second degree involuntary manslaughter. Why? When you don’t keep up with safety repairs on your vehicle, you pose a dangerous risk to other drivers. In the eyes of the law, this is considered criminal negligence, according to NOLO. Truthfully, we all let things slip at times when our lives are overwhelmingly busy.
Sometimes, though, a deadly auto accident due to brake failure occurs because of a defective auto part.
Have you been in an auto accident due to brake failure? Maybe you knew your brakes were due for maintenance soon, but should have lasted longer than they did. Your criminal defense lawyer will leave “no stone unturned” to discover the truth on your behalf.
NO one should face criminal charges alone. You need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney to help you get a fair trial and preserve your rights.
The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC offers a free initial consultation! Call 636-244-3737 today.
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.