When four people were killed in a drunken driving accident, many who heard about the accident were horrified especially after the outcome of the court case. The 16-year-old young man who caused the deaths pleaded guilty of intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter in a county court. When delivering the judgment, the judge hearing the case sentenced the young man to 10 years of probation. However, it wasn’t long until the prosecutors were up in arms criticizing the judgment, terming it too lenient and unmatched for such acts of crime. One accident lawyer noted that people who commit such crimes normally get harsher sentences, agreeing with the defense team on the matter.
It has however emerged that the teen may not have it easy and could end up in jail if the district attorney succeeds in his appeal. The case commenced in June when the teen together with his friends committed a robbery in a local mart and drove at a high speed in a pick-up truck to avoid arrest. According to the prosecutor, the initial reports showed that the teen that was behind the wheel drove off at 89 miles/hour before causing the accident. The lab reports revealed that the driver had three times blood alcohol level than the allowed driving limit and this caused him to plow on four people who were standing along the road.
The dead included a mother and her 21-year-old daughter who had stopped to help a friend who was stranded on the road. The other two victims were identified as a local youth pastor and his friend who were also at the scene helping the stranded person. Apart from the dead, one of the pickup passengers suffered serious injuries and was admitted to the local hospital with serious injuries.
While arguing in court, the teen’s accident lawyer said that he suffered from “sudden-wealth syndrome” which made it hard for him to know what is right or wrong. The teen opted for the judge’s judgment instead of facing the jury. According to the past similar cases, the teen would have received 20 years in jail, but instead, the judge ordered that he be placed in a local academy treatment facility, which his parents should pay for. The teen would at least remain for three months and has been spotted over speeding twice while under the influence of alcohol but pleaded no contest. The judge also ordered the teen to commit to community service for 12 hours and undergo an alcohol awareness class.
The teen might face jail time for the deaths if the district attorney has his way. He is seeking to have the court hand over a jail time for intoxication assault and manslaughter. In the meantime, even if he is not committed to jail, he is likely to suffer serious financial implications. The families of the victims have already filed five lawsuits against the teen, seeking damages amounting to $20 million one of the injured victims who was paralyzed and needs extensive care and $1m for two of the dead. Observers noted that this case underscores the importance of hiring an accident lawyer in case of accidents caused by another driver as this could help secure compensation including loss of wages, medical expenses, pain, and suffering.