Prior Offender Could Get 45 Years for DWI Charges

A Missouri man who has been characterized as a “prior and persistent offender” may face a 45-year sentence in connection with a drunk-driving accident that left three people injured. The 35-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a variety of charges in connection with that injurious accident, including second-degree vehicular assault and leaving the scene of a car accident. Further, the man is accused of driving with an active license suspension in effect on at least two occasions within the past five years.

Authorities report that the man was intoxicated behind the wheel when he caused the car accident in May 2009. A 27-year-old woman, along with a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, suffered serious injuries in the accident. The adult victim was in such critical condition that she required helicopter transport to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center. The driver suffered only moderate injuries in the wreck, and he was found after leaving the scene of the single-vehicle accident. It appears that the man was drunk behind the wheel, and the three other victims were passengers in the vehicle when it crashed.

Official reports show that the man is considered a persistent offender because he has racked up two additional DWI charges in his past, along with allegations of excessive blood alcohol content and driving after license revocation. As a result, the man could be sentenced to a total of 45 years’ prison time in connection with the incident. Further, another case is pending from August 2013, in which the man is accused of possessing a controlled substance, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest.

Even though it would appear that this man is a serious danger to society, he still deserves a fair and unbiased legal proceeding. Offenders who enter guilty pleas deserve the thorough consideration of the court, which is charged with determining an appropriate sentence for alleged crimes. A criminal defense attorney can help these defendants learn more about the implications of driving on a suspended license, in addition to other attributes of their criminal cases.

Source: Daily Journal Online, “Pleads guilty in drunk-driving accident” No author given, Jan. 14, 2014