Although the coastal waters, rivers and lakes of both North Carolina and South Carolina offer endless fun and activities, water-related crimes and accidents have become a common occurrence. If you’re injured in a boating accident, you need to find a criminal defense attorney to assist you with compensation.
Boating Accidents and Injuries
Every year, hundreds of people are seriously injured in boating incidents in North and South Carolina. Even more people are charged with a criminal offense relating to using and operating watercraft.
Boating Criminal Offenses
There are certain behaviors that constitute a criminal offense and are punishable.
These offense include:
- Consumption of drugs or alcohol while operating a water vessel
- Operating an unseaworthy vessel
- Operating a vessel in a dangerous manner
- Sending false distress signals
- Operating a vessel while impaired
- Tying up to a buoy
- Failure to comply with a demand to stop
- Failure to stop at the scene of an accident
- Operating a vessel while prohibited
- Failure to stop a pleasure boat at the request of an enforcement officer
Should a law enforcement officer ask to check your safety equipment on your vessel, you have to comply. You are actually obligated to comply with any demand or requirement from a law enforcement officer. An officer can ask for proof identity, too, and it is his or her right to board the vessel should they deem necessary.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
There has been a rise in alcohol and drug related boating injuries which has prompted state legislatures to enhance BUI laws. More than half of all boating incidents involve drugs or alcohol, with alcohol being the leading factor in fatal boating accidents.
Whether you operate a sailboat, sailboard, yacht, fishing boat or personal watercraft, you stand the chance of being charged with a BUI if you’re operating the vessel under the influence. Just like driving under the influence, legal penalties range from forfeiture of your boating license to civil fines and even prison time in criminal defense cases if you caused a death while operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
An experienced lawyer can represent you in any water-related accident, including:
- Towing accidents
- Property damage
- Booze Cruise accidents
- Gross negligence
- Wave runner, Sea-Doo or Jet Ski accidents
- Fires and burns
- Accidents involving alcohol
- Severed limbs
- Boating fatalities
- Injuries to children
Boaters Charged with a Criminal Offense
Not only do lawyers represent injured parties, but they also offer skilled representation of people who have been charged with crimes relating to the use of watercraft or boats, such as:
- Public drunkenness
- Boating without a license
- Boating While Intoxicated
- Reckless operation
- Drug offenses
- Underage drinking
- Public drunkenness
Do You Need Legal Representation?
If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a boating accident or criminal offense, you need to seek experienced counsel right away.
The team at Dement Askew can take on complex issues that can arise in boating incidents. Talk to a lawyer today at (919) 833-5555.