The 17-year-old will answer the charges in a court of law, his family tells PEOPLE

By Mark Dagostino
Updated November 07, 2007 10:00 AM
Mavrix Photo

Nick Hogan was booked on criminal charges related to his Aug. 26 car crash – while his attorneys tell PEOPLE, “We are confident the evidence will demonstrate that this was an accident.”

Hogan, 17, turned himself in Wednesday. A source close to the Hogan family tells PEOPLE that Nick will be tried as an adult.

Charges against the teen include reckless driving involving serious bodily injury in connection (a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum five years in prison); using a motor vehicle in commission of a felony; being under age 21 and operating a vehicle while having a breath-alcohol level of .02 percent or higher; and having illegal window tinting, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

According to the paper, blood work done on Bollea two hours after the crash showed his “ethanol serum level” at 0.055 percent, as was stated by Clearwater, Fla., police investigator Todd Turpack. The blood-alcohol level at which the state presumes a driver to be under the influence is .08 percent.

Bollea was released to his parents after posting $10,000 bail. None of them spoke to reporters outside the jail.

Friend Remains Hospitalized

In August, Hogan’s yellow Toyota Supra careened off a four-lane highway in Clearwater, Fla., and crashed into a 25-ft.-tall palm tree. Hogan sustained minor injuries and was released from the hospital the next day.

His passenger and friend, John Graziano, 22, was critically injured in the crash and remains hospitalized.

Bollea Family Statement

Nick Bollea’s attorneys, Morris “Sandy” Weinberg Jr. and Kevin Hayslett, released the following statement to PEOPLE:

“Nick and the entire ‘Hogan’ Bollea family are saddened that criminal charges have been filed in regards to the tragic single car accident on August 26, 2007. Nick will meet and answer these charges in the appropriate arena – a court of law. The family’s primary focus and concern still remains for the continued recovery of Nick’s longtime friend John Graziano. The Bolleas will also continue to stand by the Graziano family and help them in any way they can.

“The tragedy to both families is compounded by the fact that unfortunately John was not wearing his seatbelt. Thankfully, Nick was wearing his. Because of what happened to John, the entire Bollea family will make it a priority to increase public awareness about the importance of always wearing your seatbelt.

“There has been much speculation as to the speed and wet road conditions surrounding this accident. Although all the evidence has not been evaluated, preliminary reports from the experts indicate that this was not, in fact, a high-speed accident.

“Because Nick is still a juvenile and has no prior criminal record, we are disappointed that he is being charged as an adult offender. However, we are confident that the evidence will demonstrate that this was an accident. We ask all who follow these events to keep an open mind as to the facts until they have been ultimately determined. Finally, we thank all who have prayed for John’s recovery and ask for your continued support and prayers.”