A woman in California recently received a prison sentence for causing a fatal crash due to driving under the influence. The woman, who was just 17 at the time of the DUI collision, was both cocaine and alcohol impaired when the crash happened. She will spend four years behind bars.
The fatal wreck occurred when the woman blew through a red light quickly and struck a car driven by a 26-year-old woman. The woman whose car was hit died immediately upon impact. The area was experiencing a downpour at the time.
Investigators later learned that the woman was under the influence and that she was driving at a whopping 84 miles an hour when the fatal collision took place. The woman who caused the accident ended up pleading guilty in January to the felony crime of vehicular manslaughter involving gross negligence while impaired. Even though the woman who caused the accident was under 18 when it happened, the prosecution pushed to have her tried as an adult.
Facing a DUI charge in California, especially in connection with a fatal collision, can understandably be terrifying. However, anybody facing such a charge has the right to fight the charge aggressively at trial, where prosecutors must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen. However, if the evidence that the prosecution plans to provide to support the charge seems strong, seeking to negotiate a plea deal may be a more expedient move. A plea agreement may offer the benefit of receiving a lighter charge and thus a more lenient sentence than what would result following a finding of guilt at trial.
Source: Murrieta, CA, Patch, "Deadly Murrieta DUI: Teen, Tried As Adult, Sentenced In Crash", Renee Schiavone, Feb. 2, 2018