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Teen to spend 5 years in prison for drunk-driving death

An 18-year-old New Jersey man has been sentenced to five years in the state's detention system for his role in a vehicular felony. The young man will serve the time in the state prison system after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in connection with a crash on Dec. 22, 2012.

Authorities report the young man was just older than 17 when the collision occurred that night. He was behind the wheel of a 2009 Honda that crossed over the center line on Route 206 in Montgomery. He struck another vehicle, killing a 61-year-old driver after he collided with the car head-on. The young man was limited because of his provisional driver's license and should not have been on the road after 11 p.m. that night. In addition, analysis showed he may have been drinking before the crash. Four hours after the collision, his blood-alcohol level measured at 0.067 percent. The legal drinking limit for adults in the state is 0.08 percent. State experts said the driver's blood alcohol content likely registered at about 0.127 percent at the time of the crash.

The young man was initially charged in juvenile court in April, where he was facing counts of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and several other related crimes. The case was moved to criminal court from family court shortly thereafter. In June, prosecutors offered a deal under the No Early Release Act, requiring the driver to plead guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide in order to obtain the potentially reduced sentence.

The driver in this case received counsel from his attorney indicating that the plea deal would provide a positive arrangement. Plea bargains allow defendants to avoid criminal trial by admitting guilt to certain crimes in exchange for a reduced sentence.

If your teen is facing driving-related charges, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. These professionals can help you learn about your rights and responsibilities in court, protecting your interests while guiding you through the legal process.

Source:  www.mycentraljersey.com, "Montgomery man sentenced to 5 years for accident that killed 61-year-old woman while driving drunk" No author given, Jul. 20, 2013

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