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Hartford man charged in fatal accident

A 22-year-old Hartford man faces charges of Moving Violation Causing Death after police said the pickup truck he was driving struck a bicyclist from behind. Though witnesses, including firemen, stopped to offer help, the bicyclist died at the scene. While the current charge is a misdemeanor, the accident is still under investigation and the charge could be upgraded.

Moving Violation Causing Death is somewhat of a controversial law in Michigan in that, due to recent revisions, it does not require a prosecutor to prove negligence. Therefore, it can be applied to anyone who commits a traffic violation, not just a reckless driver who caused a fatal accident. The only proof needed for the charge is a direct link between the driver and the injured.

The sentence for this charge is up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000. Also, it immediately adds six points to a driver's license, resulting in a one year "hard" suspension. This means that the license suspension cannot be appealed based on hardship.

In accidents where a fatality occurred, Moving Violation Causing Death may be an initial charge placed upon a Defendant while toxicology results are processed. Depending on a driver's blood alcohol level (BAC level) or other substances present, it may be upgraded to intoxicated manslaughter or worse.

Upon receiving this charge, it may be helpful to consult with a criminal attorney who can offer advice in disproving your negligence, determining if there was any other intervening negligence, and advisingon a recommended plea.

Source: Kalamazoo News, "Hartford Man Charged in Death of Bicyclist in Portage," Emily Monacelli, November 6, 2017

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