Officer Charged With DWI Fatality
A public safety officer was recently arrested and charged with drunk driving and manslaughter charges after he struck a pedestrian. The July 15th Wall Street Journal reports that the officer was working late night shift when he responded to a complaint of kids swimming in a neighborhood pool after dark.
The crash occurred on the Hempstead Turnpike, steps away from a nearby medical center. The officer was going eastbound on the turnpike when he struck the pedestrian, who was crossing the roadway. An ambulance crew leaving the nearby medical center witnessed the accident and immediately rushed the victim to the emergency room. The victim was pronounced dead on arrival.
The officer’s attorney stated that the victim had been in the hospital earlier that evening and checked himself out against doctors’ advice. He was crossing the roadway mid-block instead of at a crosswalk. A hospital spokeswoman refused to comment on the attorney’s statement or on whether the victim was a patient.
The officer pleaded not guilty. His bail was set at $100,000. The officer was an 11-year veteran with no prior arrests.
DWI laws apply to everyone, whether it’s an officer of the law or a civilian. Had this fatality occurred in Colorado, the officer would be facing serious penalties. Having a clean arrest record may have helped his Colorado criminal defense attorney get a reduced sentence if DWI was his only charge. His clean record may do very little, however, to reduce his manslaughter sentence. Manslaughter is a felony in Colorado, with a jail term of up to six years. What a Colorado criminal defense attorney can do, regardless of the potential outcome, is to ensure that his client is treated fairly and that all parties involved in the case adhere to the law. The defense attorney can advise his client of the best defense strategies with the most favorable outcome for him.