Man chooses to plead guilty in vehicular homicide case

It is rare for a fatal drunk driving case to make headlines unless it was caused by a celebrity, but a 22-year-old man’s case has garnered national attention after he made a YouTube video confessing to driving while intoxicated. Not only did he admit to drunk driving, but he later pled guilty in court to vehicular homicide for causing the death of a 61-year-old man. The young man has also expressed his remorse in court.

It is perhaps the young man’s willingness to accept responsibility and his apparently sincere apology to the older man’s family that resulted in his sentence. Though he possibly could have gotten a lighter sentence, he still was able to avoid the maximum sentence of 8-1/2 years in prison.

No one can say for certain whether his guilty plea had anything to do with the Ohio judge giving him a less-than-maximum sentence, and it is certainly not a safe strategy for defendants to assume that a guilty plea will result in a lighter sentence. Before making any decisions about what kind of plea to enter, it is important to work with a criminal defense lawyer, as they can provide the positives and negatives of each choice.

Whether such a case could happen in Minnesota is uncertain, but the principle remains the same: do not make any major decisions about criminal charges without first talking to a lawyer. There is a reason, after all, why the Supreme Court has said that anyone facing charges must have access to counsel.

Source: Reuters, “Ohio man who posted video on drunk driving death gets 6-1/2 years,” Kim Palmer, Oct. 23, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.