Last year, a man in Montana led police on a massive chase that put many people in danger. During the course of the chase, he managed to steal three different vehicles, evading officers as he did so. One of the vehicles was stolen out of a garage, and he did not open the door to that garage, but simply slammed through it and took off with the car. The police chased him through four towns in Montana, sometimes going over 100 miles per hour. In the end, he surrendered to the officers, giving himself up in Madison County.
The charges for this negligent driver have just been handed down by the judge. He will have to spend 10 years in prison. On top of that, he is going to have to make regular restitution payments until he has paid back over $58,000 to those whose property was damaged in the car accidents and thefts. Furthermore, he will have to go to treatment court.
The man agreed to a deal with the judge, pleading guilty to theft charges for four different incidents during the crime spree, to criminal endangerment, and to trespassing. In return, one felony charge -- also for theft -- was dropped. The theft charges that did stand were for the vehicles that were taken, and the trespassing charges were for breaking into the garage to steal one of them.
Drivers who engage in these types of activities put the public in danger, and people who are impacted need to know what rights they have. In this case, restitution payments have to be made so that property damage can be fixed. However, those who are injured by the actions of a dangerous and negligent driver can also look into seeking payments to cover the cost of those injuries and related medical bills.
Source: 3KRTV, "Brandemihl sentenced for leading police on chase, stealing cars and burglary" No author given, Mar. 19, 2014