When people in St. Paul make a serious mistake, sometimes they panic and this can put them into an even more difficult situation, especially when the mistake develops into a criminal act. A criminal conviction for something like vehicular homicide or a hit-and-run can come with a number of consequences that include jail time, fines, probation, loss of income and public embarrassment.
A moment of panic
A man claims that he panicked after hitting two male Army recruiters with his car at an intersection in Roseville. The accident, which occurred in September, turned into a hit-and-run when the man kept driving. One of the recruiters was caught on the vehicle and dragged for an estimated mile, suffering several broken bones. The driver allegedly ignored other drivers who were trying to direct his attention to the man and it was alleged that he kicked the recruiter in an effort to free him from the vehicle after he did stop.
The recruiter, who says he still suffers pain from the accident, made a request to the judge at the sentencing hearing, asking that the driver be given the stiffest sentence available. The driver pleaded guilty to charges of criminal vehicular operation and first-degree assault in November. It is unknown whether he had a Minnesota attorney to represent him at the sentencing, where he begged for the recruiter’s forgiveness. The judge ignored the driver’s plea for probation and sentenced him to serve a prison sentence of over 15 years.
Before people plead guilty to a criminal charge, it is important for them to understand what the advantages and disadvantages are. Usually, people decide to plead guilty in cases where a plea deal has been offered, when they want to speed up the legal process, and when they want to save themselves the cost of defending themselves in court. When a plea deal is involved, a person agrees to accept responsibility in exchange for a lesser charge and usually a lighter punishment.
People considering a guilty plea should keep in mind the disadvantages of making this type of plea. One of the largest disadvantages is the fact that a plea of guilty cannot usually be withdrawn after a judge accepts it. One exception is the emergence of new evidence that points to the person’s innocence. When people plead guilty to a felony they may be prohibited from owning a firearm, voting, working in certain environments or even living near schools and parks. Any type of criminal conviction can interfere with a person’s job search, creating financial challenges for them and their families. The repercussions can follow them for the rest of their lives.