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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 19688
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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I live in the state of Indiana. I have been charged with Criminal

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I live in the state of Indiana. I have been charged with Criminal Recklessness with serious bodily injury, this was an accident of which I have said I was sorry on numerous occasions to the victim. He has told me that he believed me and felt that he too believed it to be an accident. My question is how does the state define serious bodily injury and how does it apply to my case seeing that he walk away from the accident denied medical treatment on the scene but did experience some shoulder injury along with bumps and bruises and one small and I do mean small cut to the head. Two days later went to the hospital to have his shoulder examined, no broken bones. I have asked my lawyer on numerous occasions to tell me how this applies his answer, because you hit him and that the prosecutor can charge you with anything they want. I never said I was innocent of everything I admit I was not in control of my car like I should have been at that time, but does the charge fit the crime?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.

Under Indiana law "serious bodily injury" is defined as "bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes: (1) serious permanent disfigurement; (2) unconsciousness; (3) extreme pain; (4) permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ; or (5) loss of fetus. Ind. Code 35-41-1-25.

Without knowing all the facts of your case and the other party's injuries there is no way I can say whether or not this charge is appropriate. That is for you to discuss with your attorney. He is right though that the prosecutor can charge whatever they think the charge should be. That doesn't mean that you will be convicted of that, it is just a starting point for either plea negotiations or the court and there are lesser included offenses. I will say though that if the cut was on the other person's face and it will leave a scar, that is enough to be a disfigurement.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have talked with an old girlfriend of his and she had told me that he was in a motorcycle crash and had that shoulder operated on prior to my crash, now if I reinjured his shoulder that is one thing but to let you know it has not been 6 months and the insurance has already settled, 96,000 dollars, to me that is unheard of from the insurance company to settle that fast with a preexisting injury. People that I know that know him has said that he has never went back in for any surgery and seems to be operating his shoulder fine riding his new motorcycle and normal everyday stuff. I'm wondering if maybe a little fraud is going on and that it might be persuading the prosecutor as with the charges

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.
That information is certainly relevant to the level of injuries and you should definitely talk to your defense attorney about using that as a negotiation tool, or at least having it to use as rebuttal to his testimony about his injuries should it come to that. There is, however, a saying in the law "you take you victim as you find them." Meaning that even if they have preexisting injuries, that does not negate the effect that your actions had on those injuries.

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