A devastating automobile accident over Labor Day weekend left three teenagers dead and the father of the car’s driver contending with involuntary manslaughter charges. A New York City area family with a vacation house in the Poconos is at the center of this tragic situation.
The car’s driver is allegedly a fifteen year old girl without a driver’s license or even a learner’s permit. It is alleged that the fifteen year old driver was allowed by her father to drive from the NYC area to the Poconos on the day preceding the deadly accident.
Learner’s Permit Requirements In Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, teen drivers must be aged at least sixteen years to be eligible to obtain a learner’s permit. Additionally, learner’s permit drivers are allowed to operate the vehicle only if there is someone aged twenty one or older in the car. Additionally, there may not be anyone in the car other than an immediate family member(s). The rules for learner’s permits are similar in New York State with sixteen being the minimum age required to be eligible for a permit.
By allowing his fifteen year old daughter to operate any vehicle on a public road, the father was in violation of the law and in commission of what is known as an aggravated misdemeanor. Had the daughter been pulled over on the drive from NYC or at any time when she was behind the wheel the father most likely would have been charged as such. The question of whether or not the girl was speeding or driving recklessly would not come into play because without a permit or a license, she is simply not permitted by law to drive. As such, even if there had not been an accident, both the daughter and the father would have still been in violation of the law.
Tragically, in this case, there was an accident and three teenagers lost their lives when the fifteen year old driver flipped her father’s SUV. She was allegedly speeding and other passengers in the car did request that she slow down. Although her father was not in the vehicle at the time, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter due to the fact that he was the owner of the SUV and allegedly gave his daughter permission to drive the car on the day the accident occurred.
A parent can face criminal charges stemming from the actions of their minor child in their absence if it is determined that they gave permission to the child or provided the means the child employed while in commission of violating the law.
Separate Defense Teams
Most likely in this case, the father and daughter will have separate defense teams. These legal teams will mount defenses that will most likely be in conflict with each other. The father’s team has already claimed that their client did not give his daughter permission to drive the SUV on the day the accident happened. The daughter’s defense team will most likely claim that the girl’s father did indeed give her permission to drive the SUV on the day in question.
If it can be proven that result of the person’s action was the cause of somebody else’s death than a conviction on an involuntary manslaughter charge is a likely result.
All of the criminal defense attorneys at DRK Lawyers are former assistant district attorneys. We understand criminal cases and defense from both sides of the courtroom. We use our trial experience and knowledge of the government’s tactics to help defend our clients every day in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are facing criminal charges, please contact our team today