In most jurisdictions, intoxicated drivers that cause fatal collisions face stricter penalties than those who are charged with merely driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Pending legislation in West Virginia would not only allow people who cause such accidents to be charged with injury or death while impaired if they cause the death of another driver or passenger but also if their actions result in the loss of an unborn child. While it is unclear if the measure will pass, it may be a sign of changes to come to DUI laws in Illinois and other states. If you are charged with causing a fatal DUI crash in Illinois, it is smart to consult an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to evaluate your options for seeking a favorable outcome.
The West Virginia Bill
It is reported that a Delegate in West Virginia introduced a bill that, if enacted, would recognize unborn children as individual victims in DUI fatalities. The bill apparently has significant support throughout the House. If the bill passes, West Virginia drivers charged with causing injury or death while driving a vehicle while impaired would be charged with additional cries if the accident causes the death or injury of an unborn child being carried by one of the victims of the accident. Those that spoke in support of the bill stated that it was neither a Republican nor Democrat issue but the correct thing to do for ethical and moral reasons.
Illinois Law Regarding Fatal DUI Crashes
Illinois law imposes strict penalties on people that caused fatal crashes driving while intoxicated. Specifically, they can be charged with aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony that carries a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison and a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison in cases involving the death of one person. The penalties increase in cases involving the death of two or more people, to a minimum of six years and a maximum of twenty-eight years in prison.
Notably, the Illinois law defining aggravated DUI does not include provisions regarding DUI accidents that cause the death of an unborn child. The Illinois courts have expressly held, however, that people that DUI collisions that cause the death of an unborn child can be charged with reckless homicide of an unborn child, which is a Class 3 felony, in addition to DUI crimes.
Meet with a Trusted Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
People that cause fatal DUI crashes in Illinois can be sentenced to years in prison, regardless of the age of their victims. If you are charged with causing a DUI collision that lead to the death of another person, it is critical to meet with an attorney to discuss your potential defenses. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a dedicated Illinois DUI defense attorney who understands what it takes to obtain favorable verdicts in challenging cases, and if you hire him, he will advocate aggressively on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Harvatin via the form online or at 217.525.0520 to set up a conference.