What Happens If I Drive Uber and Get Charged with Assault?
In recent years, Uber drivers have come under fire for sexual assault and abuse accusations. CNN launched an investigation last year that found more than 103 Uber drivers were facing these kinds of allegations. Many of these cases were dropped due to insufficient probable cause and a lack of witness cooperation – but the fact remains this is an increasingly widespread concern. Following the CNN report, Uber came under new leadership and instilled new policies to override the old ones. Uber did away with its former clause that forced individuals with complaints of sexual assault or abuse into mediation and to sign non-disclosure agreements. They also started a partnership with RapidSOS – a company that alerts police of a rider’s location when they hit the emergency button within their app.
Following these positive changes designed to be more transparent to the public, Uber released a safety report in December 2019 that detailed the number of reported sexual assaults by its drivers, along with other details. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, the report disclosed 5,981 reports of sexual abuse and 464 reports of rape by Uber drivers.
Are Uber Rides Safe in the United States?
While these figures are troubling, it’s essential to consider the high volume of rides that Uber provides across the United States. Within that same two-year period of Uber’s safety report (2017-2018), the rideshare service provided 2.3 billion rides in this country. Out of those 2.3 billion rides, 99.9% were completed without any reported safety incidents.
Those recent news reports about sexual assault, combined with Uber’s December safety report, have heightened awareness of this issue while pointing out that Uber is working to improve the situation. Their internal changes include:
- Improving hiring practices
- Conducting stronger background checks
- Pushing for more transparency about problems with drivers.
Not everyone is trustworthy, and if you’re an Uber driver who’s been falsely accused or charged with assault, you should know that you have the right to defend yourself in court.
What an Uber Driver Should Do If Charged with Assault
It’s important to understand the definition of assault and how it differs from battery. To be charged with assault in Florida, you do not have to harm or touch anyone physically. By only making a person feel threatened as though they’ll be physically hurt, that person has legal ground to accuse you of assault. In addition to that, you can be charged with assault for attempting to strike someone and missing them. When you make contact, hit, or harm another person, you can be charged with battery.
An Uber driver who is charged with assault should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. It’s critical to understand that this is a serious criminal charge with grave consequences. Don’t delay seeking legal counsel. In addition to finding an experienced criminal defense attorney, the following are crucial steps to follow:
- Document and preserve evidence – It’s essential to write down every detail of the incident that you can recall while the event is fresh in your memory. Preserve any physical evidence from the incident and make a list of potential witnesses.
- Research the charge and understand what to expect – If you’ve been charged with assault or any crime, it’s important to understand the intricacies of the charge and the criminal justice system responds to it. Having a good understanding will help you better handle the situation.
- Understand your rights – Along with researching your charge and what to expect, make sure you understand your rights. If you’re questioned by law enforcement or by the plaintiff’s attorney, you have the right to remain silent.
Before speaking or taking any action, contact your criminal defense attorney. Seek expert criminal defense counsel to have the most favorable outcome.
Turn to Trusted Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando
If you’re an Uber driver who’s been accused or charged with assault, you must seek out legal counsel immediately. Attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm are dedicated to representing individuals who are in a fight to defend both their freedom and reputation. Our attorneys have served as former state prosecutors and have in-depth knowledge of how Florida courtrooms operate. We use this knowledge to reach favorable negotiations for our clients and will do the same for you.
Contact our office today or fill out a form online to receive a free case evaluation.