A criminal defendant may never experience more stress than when he or she moves through the legal process. When charges are severe, a Newport News case may draw the attention of the media, adding to defendant’s feeling of being isolated and overwhelmed. Criminal defense attorneys help defendants navigate the system and move toward the best legal result possible.
A man blamed for killing a pregnant woman in an accident was convicted of several serious charges, including felony murder. At his recent sentencing, the 37-year-old El Salvador native was ordered to serve a prison term of nearly 24 years. The man had been jailed since the Culpepper County accident in September 2012.
Authorities said the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol when witnesses spotted him driving erratically. The defendant’s vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into a minivan, killing a 20-year-old woman driver in her final stage of pregnancy. The woman’s baby also died.
The defendant’s blood alcohol content level, tested several hours following the fatal accident, was more than triple the legal limit. The accused man later admitted he drank three beers earlier after leaving work.
Along with felony murder, the man was convicted of aggravated involuntary DUI manslaughter, DWI and wounding in the commission of a felony. Additional charges dealt with property damage and driving violations, including operating a vehicle without a license. The defendant was ordered to pay $27,300 in restitution.
Once his time is served, it’s likely the defendant will be deported. He had been living and working in the U.S. illegally. The convicted man was named a wrongful death suit by the accident victim’s family, a case that goes to trial next month.
A conviction for alcohol-related crimes connected to an injury or death can carry long-term consequences. A criminal defense attorney will work to have a DUI charge or sentenced reduced to ensure penalties are not extreme.
Source: Star Exponent, “Deadly DUI driver gets nearly 24 years in prison” Rhonda Simmons, May. 29, 2014