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DUI or DWI can aggravate charges in a fatal crash

Most Illinois residents understand the danger of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Unfortunately, many of them continue to do so and risk causing a fatal accident. If a driver involved in a fatal crash is also accused of DUI or DWI, the charges and penalties could increase.

An accident involving a drunk driver is typically considered preventable. A 39-year-old Illinois man recently pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI resulting in death in connection with an accident that occurred in Oct. 2015. He faces anywhere between three and 14 years in prison. Under state law, he is required to serve at least 85 percent of whatever sentence he receives from the court.

On the night in question, a woman pulled off the road because her car broke down. As she stood outside her vehicle, the man's pickup truck struck her as he drove north on Interstate 55. The woman's three children were in the car at the time. Troopers with the Illinois State Police arrested him at the scene.

Even though an arrest for a DUI or DWI related accident does not guarantee a conviction, sometimes the evidence in a case is overwhelming. At that point, going to trial might not be in an individual's best interests. A criminal defense attorney might be able to negotiate a plea agreement satisfactory to all involved, which could provide a better outcome that might occur following a guilty verdict at trial, especially if the maximum penalties are already outlined in the deal. Otherwise, going to court could be a gamble that the accused individual decides is not worth the risk.

Source: fox2now.com, "Maryville man pleads guilty to DUI in 2015 fatal crash", Kevin S. Held, March 15, 2017

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