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Williamsport Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Blog

Impaired driver leaves crash scene as fire destroys truck

A Pennsylvania man is facing DUI, reckless driving and other charges after he left the scene of an accident on Nov. 5. According to media sources, firefighters responded to a truck fire at the intersection of Walnut Bend Road and Grandview Road in Cornplanter Township shortly after 5:45 a.m. The driver of the burning vehicle was not at the scene when responders arrived.

At approximately the same time, sources say that a second call was received by emergency personnel in connection with the incident. A county resident contacted Venango County 911 to report that an unidentified male had knocked on his door, requested the use of his phone to arrange a ride and fallen asleep in a chair that was located on the side porch of his home. The caller told authorities that the man appeared to be intoxicated. The allegedly impaired man was later identified as the driver of the burned truck.

Actor Christopher McDonald charged with drunk driving

Many Pennsylvanians are charged with drunk driving each year. People may face DUI charges regardless of their social position as was recently demonstrated by the arrest of actor Christopher McDonald. According to news sources, McDonald was charged with drunk driving on Oct. 28 in California.

According to authorities with the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Office, McDonald reportedly ran off the road and struck a gas meter while he was driving. At 11:40 p.m., McDonald was booked into custody at the Big Bear Jail and charged with driving with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent. It is unclear from the reports what his actual BAC level was.

What is the Fifth Amendment and how does it apply to me?

Most of us are familiar with it through television and movies: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.” We know about it, but not necessarily what it is and how it protects our freedoms.

The statement is based on the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The founders of the U.S. intended that every person—whether a citizen or not—has certain protections and rights. One of them is the right not to incriminate yourself, meaning you cannot be forced to give testimony or statements that could be used to prosecute you.or imprison you.

The financial side of a DUI charge

Many people will understandably assume that after being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, the accused person's worst consequences will be jail time and other associated legal punishment. To a certain extent, this is true. Jail time is costly and has a dramatic effect on a person's life. Additionally, the person accused of driving under the influence will need to deal with court dates and a license suspension.

However, in many other ways, the "indirect" financial consequences of a DUI are more punishing on an accused person than the literal legal consequences. Consider that when you get arrested for a DUI, your car must be towed and impounded. Those two things alone could run you thousands of dollars.

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