A 28-year-old Illinois woman was sentenced to serve two years of probation, pay a $2,489 fine and attend a victim impact panel after admitting that she was responsible for a 2011 drunk driving accident that claimed the life of a 26-year-old man. The woman entered a guilty plea following a court battle that had lasted for over four years. The woman was also sentenced to one week and five days of time served.
The accident occurred on July 7, 2011 in Riverside at approximately 11:43 p.m. The woman told police arriving at the accident scene at the intersection of Longcommon Road and North Delaphine Road that she had been a passenger in the car at the time of the crash. The vehicle had overturned after striking a tree, and both of its occupants had been ejected. The man that the woman told police had been behind the wheel was pronounced dead after being taken to a nearby hospital.
However, the woman’s story was not consistent with evidence gathered at the drunk driving crash scene by the Illinois State Police, and a video recorded at a local restaurant just three minutes before the accident clearly showed the woman at the wheel of the car. She was subsequently charged with causing death while driving under the influence and reckless homicide. A record check found that the woman had no prior criminal record.
Criminal defense attorneys may recommend that their clients enter into a plea agreement in situations where the evidence against them is particularly compelling or the possible sanctions are severe. During plea negotiations, defense attorneys may point out mitigating factors to prosecutors in order to secure more lenient treatment for their clients. These mitigating factors could include a previously unblemished record, reliable employment, a stable family situation and genuine remorse.