A Pennsylvania judge recently sentenced a 25-year-old man to three to six
years in prison due to mandatory sentencing laws. He was found guilty ofdrunk driving after a trial in March for a 2012 accident. The judge remarked that he
was not permitted to deviate from the required sentencing rules even though
he believed the accident was a terrible, unfortunate tragedy.
The accident occurred in April two years ago, after the man and his best
friend were allegedly drinking. The man who was sentenced claimed during
the trial that he did not recall the events and he that was not a licensed
driver. After the crash, investigators conducted an accident reconstruction
and determined that the car left the road as it was nearing a bridge.
Thereafter, the vehicle purportedly crossed over a grass-covered section
before catapulting over the retaining barrier, where it overturned and
landed in the stream below. Both men were reportedly trapped in the vehicle
as it filled with water. The authorities say that the driver was able
to free himself from the safety strap and find breathable air, but his
passenger was trapped. Several hours later, a passerby found the accident
scene and freed the . The victim died from drowning.
This man exercised his right to a trial by jury, though it is unclear whether
prosecutors previously offered him a plea bargain. Now that a conviction
has been secured and the sentence imposed, the defense team may peruse
the trial record to identify potential appellate issues. These could include
claims of reversible error that may entitle the man to a new trial, constitutional
issues regarding the sentence imposed upon him or other legal issues at
the trial court level. Every Pennsylvania resident who stands accused
of a drunk driving offense is entitled to a full and vigorous defense
against any and all charges, and many times that defense continues even
after a guilty verdict is returned.
Source: pottsmerc.com, "East Greenville man who killed friend in DUI crash sentenced to prison", Carl Hessler, Jr., July 18, 2014