From an emotional standpoint, a case where someone is accused driving under the influence and killing another person is one of the toughest. With the victim, you usually have someone who did not deserve to die. They are often young, in the prime of their lives. They are usually also close to the driver. The victim is often a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or sibling of the accused. Unfortunately, that person is not available to express forgiveness to the driver.
As for the driver, you often have a person who has never been in trouble in his life. He may be college educated, have a great job, and a loving family. But for this horrible incident he would have continued to be an upstanding citizen.
Recently, a San Jose woman pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing a 79 year old grandmother. She is waiting to be sentenced by a Santa Clara County judge. Her maximum possible sentence is 12 years in the state prison. In fact, the judge is precluded from granting this woman probation unless he finds “unusual circumstances” where the interests of justice require it. According to statements, the family of the victim has forgiven the defendant, and believes that the victim would forgive her as well. Unfortunately, California DUI sentencing law provides somewhat less opportunity for the Court to forgive her.
As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that, regardless of the outcome, nobody wins in these cases. Regardless of what side you are on there is nothing but tragedy in these cases. An innocent victim loses her life, and a contrite survivor is cast into the hell of the California prison system.
A 41-year-old man from Halifax was recently charged with DUI (driving under the influence), after he hit a Halifax County school bus. He has also been charged with hit-and-run.
Virginia State Trooper K.R. Martin charged Glenn H. Spell of Chatham Road following the accident. Spell sideswiped a school bus operated by Willie Francis Jr., 43, of South Boston. The bus only sustained minor damages, including a black streak along the side of the vehicle. However, Spell did not stop after hitting the school bus, but later returned to the scene of the crash on Thompson Store Road where he had struck the bus at 4:40 AM.
There was no significant damage and no one was hurt in the accident, but school transportation officials still responded to the call from the bus driver. When the school transportation officials arrived to the accident scene, Spell had already returned, but left again when state police were called. Spell was later identified as the driver and was charged with DUI and hit-and-run.
In Virginia, the consequences for DUI are severe. A first time DUI offense can result in a court fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence. A DUI conviction will go on your criminal record and could affect your insurance premium, future employment and your family’s wellbeing. Virginia courts hear so many DUI cases, that they frequently encourage DUI defendants to quickly admit to guilt. If you are facing a DUI charge in Virginia, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately.
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