The Buffalo News has recently reported that a teen has pled guilty to charges related to his girlfriend’s death. On June 11, 2015, the teens set out with a friend’s father for what was supposed to be an enjoyable early morning boat ride.

The boat ride came after both teens had been at their friend’s house overnight. Their friend’s father, who is also facing separate charges related to the tragic accident, allegedly brought alcohol and marijuana along on the boat ride. The teens allegedly partook in the use of these substances, and at the time of the accident it appears as though the teen involved in this plea deal had been piloting the boat. Just prior to the accident, the victim apparently stood up in the boat and struck her head against a footbridge under which the boat was traveling. The charges to which the teen has pled guilty include vehicular manslaughter in the second degree for piloting the boat while under the influence of alcohol and criminally negligent homicide for piloting the boat in a reckless manner. The victim in this incident was 16 years old.

At the time of the plea, the teenager was 18 years old. However, at the time of the accident, the teen was only 17 years old. In exchanged for the teen’s guilty plea, the judge indicated that she may be willing to consider sentencing the teen as a youthful offender. Doing so would likely make whatever sentence is given to the teenager lighter than if the teen were to be charged as an adult. The teen’s guilty plea happened during an evidentiary hearing in preparation for the case to go to trial this fall, and sentencing is scheduled to occur in August. Until sentencing, the teen has been allowed to remain free on bail under the conditions that he not drink, use illegal drugs, or operate any vehicle or watercraft.

Possible Sentencing

If the judge determines that she will sentence the teen as a youthful offender, sentencing could include a combination of different punishments. The punishment could include one year in jail, up to four years in prison, weekends in jail, probation, or some combination of these potential consequences. Generally, while many people use the terms jail and prison interchangeably, the difference between the two is based on the length of time one is sentenced to serve. Generally, jails are run by local law enforcement agencies and tend to house inmates awaiting trial or those sentenced to shorter periods of time. Prisons tend to be larger in scale and house inmates that have been sentenced to longer periods of time. However, if the judge determines that the teen should be charged as an adult, the teen could receive between two and seven years in prison.

Help Facing DUIs

Even without added charges, New York DUI allegations are extremely serious. While it is never a good idea to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, Nave Law Firm understands that people make mistakes. Even in circumstances where you have made a mistake, it is still important that your rights are protected throughout the judicial process and that you understand the charges you are facing as well as potential consequences. Nave + Associate’s dedicated DUI attorneys have offices throughout New York and have worked with many clients facing DUI charges. In fact, each of their offices is dedicated to DUI defense. If you are facing DUI charges, contact the criminal defense team at Nave + Associates to schedule a consultation about your case.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave Law Firm are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.