When a Guilty Plea and DUI Homicide Conviction Are Not Enough

Justice might not feel like we thought it would when we lose a loved one to someone’s negligence. The pain of loss doesn’t disappear just because someone is put in jail or required to pay damages.

Whether a Pennsylvania family who lost their loved one in a drunk driving accident pursued damages in a civil suit is undisclosed. What is clear, however, is that the family is not satisfied with the legal consequences that the alleged drunk driver will face after his behavior led to the death of his girlfriend (their loved one.)

According to news reports, the reported DUI accident occurred last summer. The defendant survived the crash, but his girlfriend was thrown from the vehicle and died. She left behind a family who was eager to see justice served. The defendant was charged with homicide by DUI and pleaded guilty without much ado about the allegation.

Members of the crash victim’s family understand that a guilty plea and conviction are basically what they wanted, but they want more. They wish that the defendant would show more emotion about what happened. Maybe they could have had a chance to see that had a trial taken place, but the plea made that unnecessary. Perhaps that’s where a civil trial would have provided more closure for the family.

More than remorse, the victim’s family wants Pennsylvania DUI laws to become stricter. The defendant will be serving the maximum sentence in a DUI homicide case, which is three years in prison. They argue that three years isn’t enough for a case like this and want to work toward protecting other families from living with the disappointment of a three year sentence following the preventable death of a loved one.


  • wjactv.com: “Family Of Fatal DUI Crash Victim Fights For Harsher Jail Sentences,” Oct. 5, 2011