Texting and Driving - When People Get Hurtby Attorney Carlos Gamino on 05/06/14
Texting and driving is a crime in Wisconsin, and it’s one that carries heavy penalties if someone gets hurt. Some jurisdictions are even experimenting with prosecuting people on the other end of the phone line. It’s safe to say that you should never text and drive, and that you should discourage others from doing it, too – the results can be pretty horrific.
Even if you aren’t actively texting when an accident happens, you could be convicted of a crime.
In 2010, Stephanie Kanoff was using her phone periodically while driving home from work. She struck and killed Dylan Ellefson, a UW-Madison senior who was standing behind his disabled vehicle; she was sentenced to time behind bars. And that’s not the only case in Wisconsin – there are more than we have room to mention here.
Wisconsin’s Zero Tolerance for Texting and Driving
The fact is that police and the court systems are practicing a zero-tolerance policy for texting and driving, and you can be issued a ticket even if you’re not involved in an accident. If you are in an accident, your very first phone call should be to a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer.
What to Do if You’ve Been in an Accident Because of Texting and Driving
Make sure you stop at the scene of the accident; hit and run isn’t an option (and it can turn an ordinary traffic incident into an extremely serious crime). If necessary, and if you know how, give aid to anyone who’s injured. Once you’re sure that everyone is okay, exchange information with the other drivers or pedestrians – anyone else who was involved. Don’t offer any information, even if you know that you were using your phone at the time of the incident; in fact, don’t talk about what happened until you physically have a lawyer present with you. This isn’t because you’re going to deny guilt or not accept responsibility; it’s simply for your own protection.
Drive safe out there,