Brazilian race car driver, Joao Paulo Escudero, killed a pedestrian on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach earlier last year. Back then, the evidence suggested that Escudero was driving while intoxicated when his Mercedes jumped a curb, killing Russell Knudson. Evidence at the time suggested he was travelling at an excessive speed. Upon arrival, police recalled seeing a white powdery substance on Escudero’s nose and finding a bag of cocaine. The story, however, has recently changed.
Now, the evidence tells a different story. A traffic expert determined that Escudero was only going 38 miles per hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone when he hit Knudson. Also, the toxicology report came back indicating that Escudero’s blood alcohol content was below the legal limit. As for the cocaine? The white powdery substance on his nose came from the airbag, as it exploded upon impact. And the baggie was not found in his car, but on a crowded sidewalk near the scene.
In response to the developing evidence, prosecutors dropped the charges against Escudero. In return, Escudero agreed to several terms: his license is suspended for 10 years; he will be required to give a mandatory donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving; and he was required to view the photos of the crime scene and victim.
Although the criminal charges were dropped, Escudero had already settled with Knudson’s family for an undisclosed amount in a civil action. The fact that the criminal charges are now not being pursued will not change the result in the civil case. This is because the criminal and civil court systems are two entirely different animals.
Criminal cases are brought by a government, whether it is a state, federal, or even city government (think traffic tickets). Criminal cases can expose the defendant to both fines and jail time, if the offense is a serious one. It can be confusing because victim’s families often work with the prosecutors, but the family can never press criminal charges; that is always going to be up to the State.
Civil cases, on the other hand, are brought by a citizen (or company) against another citizen (or company). Jail time is never on the table. The most common relief sought in a civil case is money. So, the family of someone who is killed only has one option if they want to seek justice; file a civil lawsuit against the person or people responsible for their loved one’s death.
Connect with our car accident lawyer in Pembroke Pines at Ask My Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you might be legally entitled to monetary compensation. We are a firm comprised of experienced accident attorneys and take our clients cases seriously. Our lawyers are known in the community to provide reliable trustworthy answers, aggressive legal representation, and affordable legal services. You NEVER PAY unless YOU GET PAID. We understand you have your choice of no win, no fee personal injury lawyers.
All We Do are:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Truck crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Lyft Accident
- Uber Accident
- Leased Vehicle Accident
- Rental Car Accident
- Taxi Cab Accident
- Intersection accidents
- Failure to yield accidents
- Drunk-driving accidents
- School Bus Accident
- Public Bus Accident
- Private Bus Accident
- Personal Injury
and everything involving vehicle accidents.
You risk nothing by talking with us, because will not cost you anything unless we can recover for you.
Understand your legal rights when you are involved in a car accident. Contact us at 954-961-5100 for more information or to discuss your free consultation.