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California Court Sentences a Defendant to Thirty Years in Prison for Second-Degree Murder Following a DUI Accident that Killed 6 People

In most if not all states, a DUI is a misdemeanor charge. Many states, however, also allow the state to increase the severity of a DUI charge and penalties if certain factors are present. In cases where driving under the influence of alcohol results in an accident that causes bodily injury or death, a defendant may face severe penalties far more substantial than typically imposed for a DUI charge.

For example, in a recent California case, a 26-year-old woman was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to thirty years to life in prison following an alcohol-related accident that resulted in the death of six people. If you are accused of aggravated DUI you should consult an Illinois DUI attorney to assist you in formulating a defense.

Factual Background of the California Accident

Allegedly, the driver was driving a Camaro 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction on a California highway in 2014 when she crashed into a Ford Explorer, which then struck a third car. The driver’s sister and best friend were passengers in her car. Several people were ejected from both the Camaro and the Explorer, and only the driver and the driver of the third car survived. The driver’s blood alcohol level was calculated to be .15% three hours after the accident. The driver had previously been convicted of a DUI and warned about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. Her license, which was suspended following her previous DUI conviction, was reinstated just one week before the crash. She was charged with six counts of second-degree murder, to which she plead no contest. She was subsequently sentenced to thirty years to life in prison.

Illinois Laws Regarding Aggravated Driving

Under the Illinois Vehicle Code, a driver can be charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol (aggravated DUI) in certain circumstances. One scenario in which a driver may face aggravated DUI charges is when the driver is involved in a car accident that results in the death of another person. An aggravated DUI that results in an accident related fatality is a Class 2 felony. If one person is killed in the accident, a conviction for an aggravated DUI requires a minimum sentence of three years in prison but the court may impose a prison sentence of up to 14 years. When more than one person is killed in an aggravated DUI accident, the minimum sentence is six years imprisonment but can be up to 28 years. It is clear Illinois does not take aggravated DUIs lightly and seeks to impose significant penalties on any drivers who are involved in DUI accidents that result in death.

Meet with an Experienced Illinois DUI Attorney Today

If you are charged with aggravated DUI, it is important to retain an experienced Illinois DUI attorney to represent you and to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome under the circumstances. Harvatin Law Offices, PC works diligently to help Illinois residents charged with DUI retain their rights. Contact our office at 217.525.0520, to schedule a consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Maine Supreme Court Rules Extrinsic Evidence Can Be Used to Establish Enhancing Factors for an Aggravated DUI Charge Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, November 13, 2018.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Defendant Acted With Malice When She Huffed Dust-Off Before Fatal Crash Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, November 7, 2017.

Washington Supreme Court Holds Random Urine Testing of DUI Probationer is Constitutionally Sound Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2017.