As New York DWI attorneys, it is our job to uphold the best interests of our clients. However, we cannot possibly forget the often-tragic occurrences that bring clients our way. We must acknowledge the fact that drunk driving is not okay, and that any injury or death resulting from a drunk driving accident is both sad and unnecessary. We sympathize with the victims and their families, but we also feel that it is important for the accused to face the justice system with an advocate for fairness in their corner.
In many cases, victims and families who have lost loved ones are often dissatisfied with the outcome of a case, especially if leniency or a plea bargain was involved. Motivated by grief and anger, these parties would prefer to see the maximum sentence handed down. And while this may be understandable, it is also true that in some ways, the offender is also a victim… at the very least, the harshest of punishments can victimize the offender, voiding the possibility of true justice. Justice is not a possibility unless a punishment is handed down on behalf of the victim AND the offender is given the opportunity to face up to his or her wrongdoing while also moving forward with his or her life.
Take the case of Amy Locane, for example. The actress was recently sentenced to three years in prison for the 2010 drunk driving accident resulting in the death of 60-year-old Helene Seeman in Montgomery Township, NJ. This sentence did not please Seeman’s widower, Frank, who was also injured in the accident. Other family members were also unhappy with the court’s decision, which was influenced by the best interests of Locane’s young daughters, one of which is mentally and physically disabled. Seeman’s husband and family had hoped for the maximum 10-year sentence.
Offenders as Victims
While DWI offenders are not victims in the same sense as those affected by their actions, unfairness in court subjects them to victimization, and such situations creates more victims, such as the families and children of the offender. The court ruled that Amy Locane’s children should not be subjected to further suffering due to their mother’s crime. It takes a lot of soul searching and real character to remember the other victims in such cases, while also dealing with grief and anger. While punishments must be strict enough to deter repeat offenses, we must also remember that harsh punishment will not bring the deceased back, nor will it change the events that have occurred. Offenders must live with their actions for the rest of their lives, and they must also face the consequences of those actions. Still, they must be allowed and encouraged to move forward, hopefully in a positive direction.
New York DWI Lawyers
If you are facing a DWI, contact the experienced DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. We can assist you in understanding your case and potential consequences, as well as defending you against the charges in court.
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 DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.