A Virginia man is facing charges in the accident death of an elderly woman after an alleged drunk driving incident. The court case is still in the early stages, the preliminary hearing happened just this week.
According to The Journal, the accident occurred in March on U.S. 11 in Berkeley County. The 57 year old Hagerstown victim was driving home from church and took the highway to avoid unnecessary traffic on Interstate 81.
The 37 year old defendant was leaving a bar where he admittedly consumed 5 to 6 beers. The victim’s 1989 Geo Spectrum was totaled by the defendants Chevy Silverado and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
A preliminary hearing is held to determine if probable cause is present to believe a crime occurred and the defendant committed it.
Magistrate Joan Bragg ruled there was probable cause and bound the case over to Berkeley County Court.
At the preliminary hearing, both the prosecution and the defense are allowed to state their cases. The defense is allowed to question the validity of the search, breathalyzer, arrest, and any other circumstances surrounding the case. But, because the goal isn’t a verdict of guilt or innocence, preliminary hearings are much less complex than a trial.
The defendant in this case underwent a breath test at the scene of the accident and again at the police station; both were said to be well over the legal limit (.165 and .148 respectively). The defendant was said to have stated “Yes, I guess so” when the officer at the scene asked if his alcohol consumption may have played a role in the accident.
While a typical DUI is a crime, getting in an accident resulting in a death while under the influence of alcohol is a much more serious matter. This particular defendant faces a potential 10 years in prison for the charges against him.
When you are up against DUI charges, you can’t be expected to understand all of the proceedings against you—they are complex and can be confusing. That’s what your defense lawyer is for.
If you are facing DUI charges or any other related criminal charges, contact us today.