ET spoke with legal expert Julie Rendelman, who broke down the charges Heche could potentially be facing.
Following Anne Heche's fiery car crash, the actress is currently in critical condition and in a coma. However, she is also under investigation by the LAPD for possible misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run.
ET spoke with legal expert Julie Rendelman on Wednesday, who broke down the charges Heche could potentially be facing, depending on the results of the investigation, and how her condition could impact any future charges.
"Anne Heche is facing a multitude of charges. Most of them are misdemeanors," Rendelman shared. "She's facing, potentially, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, hit-and-run and potentially some type of reckless endangerment for the reckless driving that occurred right before the crash."
Heche crashed her blue Mini Cooper into a home a little before 11 a.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 5, in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. It took nearly 60 firefighters to rescue her from the wreckage that ignited a fire that raged out of control.
Heche was rushed to a nearby hospital with burns, and the home became uninhabitable. The fiery car crash, it would later become clear, was her third car crash within a 30-minute span.
"Keep in mind that each of these charges are misdemeanor charges," Rendelman said regarding the severity of the possible criminal consequences. "There is a potential for up to six months in jail, fines, as well as having her license suspended for quite a lengthy period of time.”
Police obtained a warrant for a blood draw on the day of the crash, and authorities are awaiting the results of the toxicology report. The case will be presented to the LA City Attorney's Office upon completion of the investigation.
However, Rendelman says that, even if the results come back negative for drugs or alcohol, there could still be quite a few charges Heche could face.
"I still think she's facing at least a hit and run charge and a reckless charge, and the reason is, whether she was using alcohol or drugs, she still acted recklessly, she was driving at a very high rate of speed," Rendelman stated. "We know that she hit at least one structure and instead of staying behind contacting the police and giving her identification, she drove off and hit another structure. So, I think that's going to be very tough for her and her attorneys to defend."
Video captured by CBS Los Angeles showed the carnage left behind after Heche crashed her car into the home, and another video showed the blue Mini Cooper speeding down the small residential street at a very high rate of speed before the frightening collision.
"The first thing law enforcement has to determine is whether or not there was alcohol in her system. If there was, was the amount of alcohol above the legal limit?" Rendelman said. "The second question is whether or not there's drugs in her system. And if there were what type of drugs? Are these drugs that would inhibit in any way her ability to drive? These are the questions that they're going to want to ask before they decide the exact charges against Anne Heche."
On Monday, a rep for Heche told ET that her client is "in extreme critical condition" after the crash. "She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention," Heche's rep said. "She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident."
ET learned that, by Monday evening, Heche had been moved to the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills.
According to Rendelman, her hospitalization may slow down the investigation, but likely will not shield Heche from charges eventually upon her recovery.
"Anytime someone is in the hospital, it makes it difficult for law enforcement to proceed and so it slows the process down," Rendelman said. "The assumption is that, if in fact she gets better, once she is, they will arrest her and bring her before a judge who will at that time, potentially suspend her license and then the case will move forward."
As for the legal recourse afforded the owner of the home that was destroyed, Rendelman says there are numerous possible outcomes and options available.
"So there is a victim in this case, that's the woman whose house was damaged and set on fire," Rendelman explained, referring to Lynne Mishele, who narrowly escaped the incident. "There are several things that can happen. First, during the criminal proceeding, there can be restitution during that sentencing phase, if in fact she's found guilty. The second thing is she can file a civil suit against Anne Heche for the damage that she caused to her property."
Mishele issued a statement to ET through her lawyer, Shawn Holley, on Tuesday, sharing, "Ms. Mishele is devastated by what happened to her on Friday -- not only because she and her pets almost lost their lives, but because all of her property, including items of profound sentimental value, were destroyed. She asks for privacy at this incredibly difficult time."
For more on the aftermath of the incident, and Heche's condition, see the video below.