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Working Hard to Protect Your Rights As a Poughkeepsie criminal defense attorney, I have been serving the people of the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years through diligent, assertive and quality criminal defense. I am prepared to put my experience to work for you.

New York man receives 7-year prison term after death of man

On March 12, a 26-year-old man received a prison sentence for seven years after he lost control of his vehicle while impaired in July 2012 and drove into and killed a 56-year-old construction worker in New York. The driver operated his Audi after he spent three hours drinking with friends. Law enforcement who responded to the scene could smell alcohol and noticed his bloodshot eyes. According to information released by officials, the driver was traveling eight miles over the posted speed limit. However, he did not plead guilty to felony drunk driving but to second degree vehicular manslaughter.

The district attorney felt that the sentence, which was the longest prison term the accused man could legally receive, was warranted because of the circumstances surrounding the crime. The construction worker's daughter agreed although she realizes no sentence of any length will bring her father back. However, she added that the stiff penalty will send a stern warning that drunk driving will be punished and that other drivers might think twice before getting behind the wheel after they have partied. She hopes that someone else will not suffer the way her family has.

New York imposes stiff penalties on alcohol-related offenses, especially when someone is killed. The driver who was sentenced received harsh sanctions - the maximum allowed by law.

A criminal defense attorney who focuses on DUI cases might be able to negotiate reduced charges with the prosecution when someone drinks and drive. In some cases, the driver needs alcohol counseling to overcome a substance abuse issue. The attorney might be able to convince the judge of the viability of treatment instead of stringent penalties.

Source: Forest Hills Patch, "Drunk Driver Sentenced in Grand Central Death," Matthew Hampton, March 14, 2013

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.