Archive for the ‘Negligent Homicide’ Category

DWI Defense Lawyers – Michigan Under 21 Drunk Driving Defendant Postpones Pre-Trial Conference

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

One does not need to be an experienced DWI defense lawyer to know that drunk driving arrests are a very big deal. If convicted, the penalties for drunk driving are severe, and can include many life-changing consequences. Because of the harsh punishments associated with driving while intoxicated, it often takes time for a DWI defense lawyer to prepare their case and gather evidence. Sometimes, it is even necessary to postpone court appearances, so that the defense is fully ready to present their defense. Such are the circumstances in a Michigan drunk driving case involving an underage intoxicated motorist who struck another vehicle, killing the other driver.

In January 2011, Kelley Nagle, 20, was driving a Chevy Trailblazer south on Dequindre Road in Sterling Heights when she attempted to pass another vehicle in front of her, but ended up cruising into oncoming traffic and colliding head–on with a Ford Ranger. The driver of the other vehicle, Annette Evans, 53, was pinned in her car before being removed by emergency rescue services. Although she was rushed to the emergency room, Evans was pronounced dead.

The drunk driving penalties that Nagle faces are severe. After performing tests, law enforcement officials determined that Nagle’s blood alcohol content was 0.23 at the time of the accident–almost three times the legal limit of 0.08. Had this been her first offense, she could have been charged under Michigan’s new super drunk law, which enforces harsher punishments for “excessively intoxicated” motorists. However, since this is Nagle’s second drunk driving offense (the first was in 2009), she has also violated the terms of her probation which will likely work against her in court. Prosecutors are currently charging her with the 15-year felony of Operating While Intoxicated causing death and the one-year misdemeanor of Operating While Impaired.

With all the drunk driving consequences Nagle is facing, it is no surprise that this is the second time her drunk driving attorneys have asked the court to postpone the Pre-Trial conference. Especially when dealing with a minor, cases of drunk driving are very complex and defending them takes great skill and experience. This is why it’s essential for every person arrested for a DUI, DWI, or OWI in Michigan to immediately contact knowledgeable DWI defense lawyers. Doing so will not only ensure the best legal advice and legal representation, it will also guarantee you the best defense possible in your drunk driving case. Do not hesitate to be proactive to secure your defense. Your personal liberties and freedoms are at stake!

MI DUI Charges – Excessively Intoxicated Driver May Also Be Liable For Second-Degree Murder

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Being arrested for driving while intoxicated is a scary experience for anyone to go through. However, the consequences a DUI suspect faces will greatly increase if they are accused of causing an accident resulting in the personal injury or death of another person. Experienced DUI defense lawyers in Michigan are increasingly facing more serious charges such as second degree murder for drunk driving offenses. Any injury or death related drunk driving offense can result in harsh and life-changing penalties including a significant prison sentence.

A recent example of this is a Kent County case in which a man is being charged with both a DUI, and second-degree murder after causing an accident resulting in the death of a local teacher. In the hours before the November 2009 crash, Leonel Franco-Avina was working the janitorial overnight shift at a local grocery store. Although store employees opening at 7:00 a.m. reported that he did a lousy job cleaning up, he did not smell of alcohol or seem intoxicated. However, when he finally entered his pick-up truck to leave, many witnesses noticed that he exhibited reckless and poor driving, even running over a shrub-decorated island before leaving the parking lot–driving the wrong direction.

Traveling into head-on traffic, it was not long before Franco-Avina struck another vehicle, driven by Aaron Haynes, 30. While Franco-Avina suffered a severe bleeding head injury, Haynes was not as lucky. In the accident, the local school teacher died upon impact after sustaining a ripped aorta and massive trauma, including a broken neck.

When medical practitioners at Spectrum Health performed a blood test on Franco-Avina, his blood alcohol content registered as 0.425 percent, roughly five times the legal limit. As a result, prosecutors cited him with Michigan DUI charges as well as second-degree murder due to his excessive level of intoxication.

In Michigan, a person can be convicted of second-degree murder if it is determined by the jury that they knowingly created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm. Increasingly, this charge is being used in drunk driving cases. Michigan courts have determined that second-degree murder is not a specific intent crime. In essence, this means that a drunk driver can be convicted of murder even if he or she never intended to cause the death.

The penalty for second-degree murder in Michigan is potentially life in prison. Whether the sentence is life or any term of years in prison, the impact of such a conviction will be life-changing. If you or someone that you know is facing serious criminal charges, you should be talking to trustworthy and knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Michigan. By doing so, you will have a team of experienced and effective trial lawyers who know how to defend your rights.

Drunk Driving Arrest – Man Gets 24 Years After 9th DUI Conviction Causing Death To Young Girl

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

After being arrested for one DUI, many people are so humiliated by their actions and the consequences that they are careful to either designate a sober driver or abstain from alcohol entirely. However, experienced drunk driving lawyers in Michigan will tell you, that is not always the case. Some individuals continue to get behind the wheel intoxicated, regardless of previous run-ins with law enforcement officials. If caught, these individuals will certainly face tougher penalties for additional infractions. This is particularly true if a repeat drunk driver causes injury or death to another person while operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

In May 2009, Edward Schaefer, 44, was driving his motorcycle while intoxicated when he sped between two stopped cars and blew through an intersection at almost 60 miles per hour. In doing so, he struck Aaron and Melody Osheroff as they crossed the street. Unfortunately, nine year-old Melody died of her injuries the next day while her father Aaron, 41, had one leg amputated and almost lost the other. As a result of his involvement in this deadly accident, Schaefer was arrested by law enforcement officials for a laundry list of offenses including: gross vehicular manslaughter, second-degree murder, and drunk driving causing bodily harm or death, among others.

The deputy public defender tried his best to remind the presiding judge of Schaefer’s good parenting skills, as well as the many volunteer hours he put into his daughters’ school and church. The defense attorney argued that Schaefer maintained his role as a father, as well as a 20 year employee of the family salon business, all while suffering from lifelong depression stemming from a dysfunctional upbringing.

Judge Terrence Boren, however, was less than impressed. Schaefer, who has eight previous drunk driving convictions, was sentenced last week to serve 24 years in prison and pay $1.36 million in restitution for the death of Melody and injuries to her father. Because of his earlier drunk driving convictions, Boren denied the defendant the chance for probation and added an additional year to his sentence. Schaefer will not have the opportunity to apply for parole until the completion of his 24th year in prison, and also will not receive any credit for good behavior while incarcerated.

As seen by the example of Edward Schaefer, the courts do not look favorably on repeat offenders, particularly those who cause bodily injury or death to others. If convicted of such crimes, the consequences will be severe, including the loss of driving privileges, stiff fines, and extensive jail sentences. Whether the drunk driving charges against you are your first or ninth, it is essential to be pro-active by seeking the legal assistance of knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Michigan. Doing so quickly will ensure the best legal advice and legal representation for your case, designed to keep you at home and on the roads, not behind bars.

MI Drunk Driving – Criminal Charges Brought Against Suspected Drunk Driver in Fatal Collision

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Being busted for driving while intoxicated in the State of Michigan will bring permanent and life-changing consequences on a person. However, if the drunk driver crashes into another causing significant personal injury or death, the charges brought against the at-fault motorist will undoubtedly become more severe. Each day as aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyers, we represent people who have not only received DUI charges, but murder charges as well after killing another driver or passenger on the road. There are similar cases seen in recent news, such as the example of the Michigan man serious criminal charges after allegedly crashing his vehicle drunk, killing one of his sons.

Last December, Michigan resident Robert Ruh II was driving his truck in Homer Township when he crashed his vehicle, killing his son, Robert Ruh III, 7, and seriously injured his other son, Austin Ruh, 8. In the hours after the accident, toxicologists with the Michigan State Police in Lansing estimated that Ruh’s blood-alcohol content level when the incident occurred was between 0.08 and 0.10. In the State of Michigan, operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content level over 0.08¬† is considered drunk driving. As a result, evidence presented from the toxicology lab was enough to accuse Ruh of multiple Michigan drunk driving charges.

Law enforcement officials originally charged Ruh with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and operating a vehicle under the influence while transporting someone under the age of 16. However, on Thursday the court granted prosecutors request, slapping two new counts against him: involuntary manslaughter with a motor vehicle, or some form of Michigan negligent homicide charges. If convicted of all violations against him, Ruh could face a maximum penalty of life in prison, if convicted.

As seen by the example of Robert Ruh II, being accused of driving while intoxicated can have significant consequences, especially if it causes personal injury or death to another person. Harm was not only inflicted on his children, Ruh is also facing serious criminal charges of drunk driving and negligent homicide. If convicted of either charge, he will almost certainly spend time in prison. Because the punishments are so severe, it is essential to contact hard-working and experienced Lansing drunk driving lawyers for the best possible legal defense. Acting quickly will not only provide top-notch legal advice, but also help ensure that you stay at home with your family, and not behind bars.

MI DUI Charges – Michigan Woman Faces Criminal Charges for DUI Accident Killing Four Teens

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

When an individual drives drunk and causes an accident, they could be charged with much more than just driving while intoxicated. If a motorist gets behind the wheel  impaired and crashes into another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist causing personal injury or death, it is possible to also be accused of murder. As experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyers, it is not uncommon to represent people who have a very tough legal battle in front of them after being held accountable not only for driving drunk, but for the personal injury inflicted on others. A perfect example seen in the news is the recent conviction of a Michigan woman who was not only charged with driving under the influence, but also murder after crashing into another vehicle and killing four teenagers.

Over a year ago, Frances Dingle was drunkenly driving when she lost control of her car and it veered off the road on Gratiot near the Macomb Mall, crashing into a car carrying four teenagers stopped at a traffic light. The four teens, Stephanie Currie, 16, Erica Haudek, 15, Devon Spurlock, 19, and Jordan Michalak, 16, all died as a result of the impact. Law enforcement officials charged Dingle with Michigan drunk driving charges, as well as second-degree murder.

After hearing the counts against her out loud in court this week, Dingle initially said “guilty,” but immediately changed her response to “no contest.” Although no contest pleas are not admitting guilt, judges treat them similarly for sentencing purposes. As a result of the Michigan murder charges and drunk driving charges, most expect that Dingle sentence on May 19th will include at least 18 years behind bars. However, Dingle’s Michigan drunk driving lawyer is sticking behind her. “My client is not a monster. She’s a human being. This could happen to anyone,” he stated.

Being suspected of driving while intoxicated is complex enough, let alone adding Michigan murder charges into the equation. As seen by the example of Frances Dingle, the consequences of conviction are intense, including the loss of driving privileges, fines, and extensive jail time. Therefore it is essential to seek the top-notch legal advice and legal representation to best protect your personal liberties and freedoms. Acting today and retaining experienced Lansing drunk driving lawyers can get a strong case developed in your defense to keep you at home, and not behind bars.