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DUI charge: Driver with prior conviction sentenced to 15 years

When a driver who has a previous DUI conviction subsequently causes the death of another person while under the influence of alcohol, the consequences can be severe. Under California law, it is presumed that a driver was informed of the dangers of driving while intoxicated at the time of the prior conviction, and can, therefore, face a second-degree murder charge. A man who was previously sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge in 2007 was recently convicted after causing the death of a bicyclist.

According to court documents, the 29-year-old man fled the scene after striking and killing a 70-year-old bicyclist. The driver apparently later called 911, reporting his involvement in the accident. He was arrested and charged with felony DUI, hit-and-run and murder, and the charges were enhanced because he caused a deadly accident.

The driver pleaded guilty to causing a deadly accident while driving impaired. The other felony charges were dropped under the plea agreement. After delivering his guilty plea, the driver was sentenced to spend 15 years behind bars.

California drivers who are accused of drunk driving will likely be aware of the impact a conviction can have on their personal and professional lives. Before admitting to anything, it may be beneficial to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney. After assessing the details of the DUI charge, a lawyer can devise a defense strategy and handle negotiations if a plea deal is offered. An attorney will provide support and protection of legal rights throughout all proceedings.

Source: Palm Desert Ca. Patch, "Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Bicyclist While Driving Drunk", Alexander Nguyen, Aug. 29, 2015

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