Chris Soules‘ arrest Monday night isn’t his first time getting in trouble with the law. And that could make his punishment this time around far worse.
The former Bachelor star was originally charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal accident, a class D felony. But later on alcoholic beverage containers were found in his possession.
Even for someone with a spotless record, driving under the influence could bring far greater consequences. But Chris doesn’t have a clean record.
He reportedly was busted for minor in possession of alcohol in 2001 (when he was 19-20 years old), for unlawful use of a license in 2002, and seven times for speeding between 2000-2012. He was even charged with leaving the scene of an accident once before in 2002, but that was later amended.
But those violations pale in comparison to the bust that could damn him to a murder charge. As we previously reported, he’s already been busted for a DUI (though it was called an OWI in Iowa) back in 2005. He got 60 days in jail, a year probation, and a fine of $500.
Doesn’t seem like much of a penalty to us. But it could change everything for him now. Legal expert Troy Slaten explained to E! News why:
“When somebody has a prior conviction for DUI, that can mean a couple of things. It can change a case of vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter into murder, and here’s why: 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├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥an accident is an accident├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥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.”
“Evil intent.” Wow. So weird that evil is a legal consideration.
Not good news for Soules’ case if they can prove he had been drinking:
“If he decided to go out and get impaired by alcohol and continue to drive, they can imply malice and say, ‘You knew how dangerous it was [to drink and drive], but you went and did it anyway. You had this indifference to human life. Therefore, you’re guilty of murder.'”
Iowa State Patrol will have to determine Soules was drinking and driving first, which may be difficult due to him leaving the scene. Obviously, that may even have been why he fled.
Soules was arraigned on Tuesday, so he’s definitely facing criminal charges. And we’ll know exactly which ones soon enough.