Chris Soules was arrested this week after leaving the scene of an accident, and it isn’t his first brush with the law. The former Bachelor star has had run-ins with the police in the past — but his latest might land him years behind bars.
Perez Hilton reports that Soules was first charged with leaving the accident, which resulted in the death of one man. Police later found alcohol in his possession and believe he was drinking at the time of the fatal accident. The incident would spell disaster for anyone, but Soules’ troubled past might result in a harsher punishment.
The reality star was first arrested back in 2001 for possessing alcohol as a minor. He was busted a year later for improper use of a license and has seven speeding tickets on his driving record. Soules was involved in an accident in 2002 and even fled the scene. Those charges were eventually amended.
In 2005, People reported that Chris Soules got hit with a DUI and was sentenced to 60 days behind bars. He was placed on probation for a year and paid a $500 fine. Given his lengthy record, Soules might be facing serious charges for his latest accident. According to Troy Slaten, an expert in legal matters, a prior DUI conviction can bump a vehicular homicide charge to murder.
“Normally when we talk about murder, there has to be some sort of malice or evil intent. Getting in an accident is usually not evil—an accident is an accident—but when somebody has been convicted of DUI [in the past], they’re under a greater understanding of the dangers of drinking and driving because [they’ve] been through DUI classes and special alcohol education,” Slaten explained.
This is definitely not good news for Soules. The only catch is if the police can prove that he was drinking at the time of the accident. This might be a difficult task because Soules left the scene and wasn’t arrested until well after the fact.
Whatever happens, it is clear that Soules will be slapped with criminal charges once again. The reality star appeared before a judge on Tuesday, but prosecutors have not yet announced all of the charges he could face. After his appearance, Soules was allowed to post a $10,000 bond and go home.
According to Hollywood Life, Soules hit a tractor that was being driven by a friend of the family, 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher. The tractor ended up in a ditch and Soules fled the scene. The elderly man was brought to a local hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. The accident happened a little after 8:00 pm. Soules wasn’t taken into custody until the early hours of the morning.
Soules apparently left in his truck at the scene of the crime and police were able to track him down at his home. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a class D felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. If police can prove alcohol was in Soules’ system at the time of the accident, that sentence could bump up to 25 years.
“I heard he went to the hospital and if they pulled blood which reveals any illegal substances or alcohol, then Chris may be facing a Class B felony which can carry up to a 25-year prison sentence,” Iowa lawyer Nick Sarcone revealed.
To make matters worse, Hollywood Life reports that Soules will probably face a civil suit that could strip him of his farm and million dollar fortune. This, of course, is nothing compared to the chance of spending 25 years in prison but it looks like the accident is definitely going to change Soules’ life forever.
Tell us! Do you think Chris Soules was impaired by alcohol during his latest accident? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by ABC]