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Judge: Homicide charges dropped against drunk driver

Being charged with drunk driving can be upsetting enough without worrying about the possibility of also facing a stack of additional charges. This can often happen when a drunk driver is involved in a car accident. What could have ended with a single charge of drunk driving can quickly turn into multiple charges, including manslaughter or vehicular homicide.

But being charged with additional offenses does not mean that a person is guilty. It is not uncommon for a person accused of DUI to also face a number of other allegations in association with drunk driving, especially when others have been hurt in a related incident. This is why it can be helpful to have the support of a criminal defense attorney who can protect someone from being unfairly charged or convicted of criminal behavior. 

For example, a 26-year-old man faced a long list of charges after he got into an accident on the Long Island Expressway. According to reports, the man was intoxicated when he crashed into one car and was then hit by another car. The incident could have ended there, but things quickly escalated.

A police officer responding to the two accidents was on the scene when he was struck and killed by a passing SUV. The loss was no doubt devastating, but authorities tried to blame the 26-year-old driver for what happened instead of the SUV driver who actually struck the officer. The alleged drunk driver was charged with more than seven criminal counts after the accident.

Luckily, a judge agreed with the man's defense attorney who argued that it was not the actions of his client which resulted in the death of the officer, but rather those of the SUV driver who actually struck the officer. Noting this, many of the charges against the alleged drunk driver were dismissed by the judge, including one for aggravated vehicular homicide, which will dramatically affect the potential penalties the man could be facing. 

This is a good example of why it can be beneficial to work with an attorney after being charged with DUI in New York. In many cases, a person is not just facing one single count of impaired driving. There are often a number of charges filed against a person, which may not all be appropriate. With legal support, people in similar situations can work to have any unfair or inaccurate charges dismissed. 

Source: Newsday, "Judge dismisses top charges in crash that killed Nassau cop Joseph Olivieri," Bridget Murphy, Dec. 17, 2013

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