Wilkinsburg Man Receives Guilty Verdict Relating to 2017 Crash in Which a Passenger Died
Lots of people fear air travel, train travel, boating, and amusement park rides, but in fact all of those are less dangerous than traveling by car, which many of us do every day. Car accidents have been a leading cause of premature death since the invention of the automobile, but cars and driving have gotten safer over the years. One of the two biggest long-term reductions to the number of traffic fatalities occurred when seatbelts became a standard feature of cars, and the other happened when states passed and enforced laws that made it a crime to drive while intoxicated. Drunk drivers put everyone on the road at risk, which is why the penalties are harsh for repeat DUI even when the drunk driver does not cause an accident. A DUI that leads to an accident with injuries or fatalities could mean years in prison for the drunk driver. A Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for DUI or for causing a car accident while driving drunk.
Homicide by Vehicle While DUI
In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with a felony if you cause an accident that leads to a person’s death, whether or not you were drunk at the time of the accident. Homicide by vehicle is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to seven years in state prison, a $15,000 fine, and losing your driver’s license for three years. (The word “homicide” does not imply that the defendant killed the victim intentionally; the crime of homicide by vehicle is rather considered one of the worst kinds of negligence, a mistake so serious that it killed someone.) If the driver’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit at the time of the accident, it is a second-degree felony, homicide by vehicle while DUI. A conviction for homicide by vehicle while DUI carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum sentence of ten years.
In the News
In October 2017, Daquan Lamont Thompson of Wilkinsburg was driving from Pittsburgh to Uniontown. The three friends who were riding with him in his Chevrolet Cobalt had tried to convince him to let one of them drive, since he had been drinking, but he insisted on taking the wheel. As he was driving up a hill on Shady Avenue, going 60 miles per hour, his car crossed the center lane and hit an oncoming Lexus. The car was so badly crushed that rescuers had to remove the roof and doors to get the people out. One of the passengers, Angelica Fields, died as a result of the accident. In January 2020, Thompson was found guilty of homicide by vehicle while DUI. The judge revoked his bond and set a sentencing hearing for April 29.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
Mandatory minimum sentences are scary, but a criminal defense lawyer will ensure that you get a fair trial and, if you are convicted, that you do not get an excessive punishment. Contact Pittsburgh DUI defense lawyer Gary E. Gerson for help today.