A Florida man was sentenced to 8 years in prison for a drunk driving accident that caused the death of an 80-year-old woman. The accident occurred when the man failed to break before he turned his F-150 truck into a Ford Focus in which the woman was a passenger. The woman was rushed to local hospital where she died two days later due to multiple blunt force traumas.
The man plead guilty after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors who ensured the man that they would seek a sentence of less than 12 years. The man had a blood alcohol level approximately 3 times the legal limit.
Plea negotiations can play a critical part in any criminal prosecution. Plea arrangements can be offered for numerous reasons including the likelihood of success for the prosecutor at trial or the simple likelihood that a criminal defendant will accept a plea bargain. Plea bargains are sometimes necessary if there is very strong evidence against the accused. Here, the criminal defendant had a blood alcohol level that was well over the limit allowed by law. His attorney may have counseled that the best course of action would be to accept a plea that would result in the defendant spending less time in prison then he would have received had he chosen to go to trial. It is ultimately the decision of the accused whether to accept any plea deal.
Felony drunk driving charges can be difficult to defend. Often times there exists irrefutable evidence of intoxication that may lead to conviction. It can sometimes be prudent to attempt to negotiate the best plea possible in order to avoid extensive jail time. Criminal defendants in this position should seek the counsel of local defense attorneys who are experienced and that may be able to secure reasonable plea deals when necessary.
Source: The Palm Beach Post, “Lake Worth man sentenced to 8 years for drunk driving crash that killed woman, 80”, Jane Musgrave, June 21, 2013