Last year in Colorado, a man was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated and causing a fatal accident. However, the driver who was blamed for the death entered a guilty plea for DUI in exchange for other charges being dropped. The man has been sentenced to one year in jail and a two-year probation period.
In some situations like this, the prosecution decides to offer a plea deal to accused individuals. This can lead to a more positive outcome for the defendant in some specific cases, whereas other people may benefit from taking the case to trial. In this particular case, one of the main reasons that the prosecution offered the deal to the defendant was attributed to the report from the Colorado State Police that concluded that intoxication did not contribute to the fatal accident. Therefore, based on the information and evidence that the state possessed, they considered it doubtful that a jury would have found the accused driver guilty of the harsher charges.
The accident occurred last year and the driver was suspected of driving while intoxicated. The police who responded to the collision claimed that the driver was driving well below the speed limit. They also alleged that the man had a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit. However, it was later determined that alcohol did not play a role in the fatal incident.
This Colorado man has been ordered to perform community service and receive treatment for alcohol problems in addition to his jail sentence and probation. While the driver chose to enter a plea agreement for a DUI, he could have sought a trial and possibly have been completely exonerated. However, he selected the option that he felt provided him the opportunity to have the other, more serious, charges dropped. In this case, the government felt that there was no conclusive evidence to prove that the driver was culpable of causing the man’s death; as a result, he was able to enter a plea to a misdemeanor charge.
Source: CBS Denver, “Man Pleads Guilty To Reduced Charge For Fatal DUI Crash“, , July 10, 2014