A Long Island man is now facing upgraded charges based upon the death of his infant daughter. Police say that the man had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit when the car he was driving crashed into the side of a 7-Eleven store in Suffolk County on July 19. The driver, his 10-month old daughter and his pregnant girlfriend were in the vehicle, and all were injured. The daughter has since died from her injuries. The driver had already been charged with a number of offenses, but the death of his daughter added the most serious charge yet – aggravated vehicular manslaughter, a class B felony.
Aggravated vehicular manslaughter is defined under section 125.14 of the New York Penal Code, which provides, in part, as follows:
“A person is guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide when he or she engages in reckless driving . . . and . . . commits such crimes while operating a motor vehicle while such person has .18 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood . . ..”
The penalties for driving while intoxicated in New York are some of the harshest in the country, and include those specified under Leandra’s Law. Leandra’s Law was designed to deal with intoxicated and impaired driving when a child is in the vehicle. Under the law, first time offenders convicted of DWI with a passenger under the age of 16 can be charged with a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison, among other sanctions. If the child suffers a serious physical injury, the offense becomes a class C felony, with a possible sentence of 15 years. And in the event of the death of the child, it is a class B felony, with a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Unfortunately, the devastating consequences of drinking and driving are not all that rare. Within the last few days, another suspected DWI crash led to the indictment of another man in the death of a recent high school graduate. Even though the alleged victim was not a minor under 16 years of age, the defendant in that case has been charged with second degree murder, and faces up to 25 years in prison.
We have stated in previously in our blog that the only sure way to avoid a DWI, DUI (driving under the influence) or DWAI (driving while ability impaired) conviction is not to drink (or consume drugs) and drive. However, if you have been charged with a DWI or any related offense, the consequences of a conviction are enormous, and you need the services of an experienced New York State DWI Lawyer.
George Vomvolakis Law Offices
275 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016