When people drive, accidents are going to happen. Whether it is hitting another car, some other form of property or even another person, sometimes it is simply unavoidable. For one woman in Dekalb County, unfortunately this is exactly what she says occurred, and now she is facing 12 months in prison because of it.
The accident occurred when the woman was driving in the street and a seven-year-old boy ran out in front of her car. She claims she tried to swerve to avoid him but was unable to do so. The boy was killed in the collision.
During her trial, her attorney asked that the judge instruct the jurors that they could consider the collision an accident instead of a homicide The trial judge, however, denied that request. A Georgia appellate court then agreed with the defendant’s attorney’ however, Georgia’s highest court agreed with the trial judge, which resulted in the defendant’s conviction on her criminal charges being reinstated, along with her 12 month prison sentence.
In this case and cases like it, a strong criminal defense is required not just because of the serious charges, but also because a child was involved. Because of this, a defendant must be very careful in planning his or her case. The first strategy is simply to explain the defendant’s story, specifically what led up to the accident. The defendant may want to express her sincere sympathy to the victim’s family while at the same time explaining how the child’s death is not her fault, but a tragic accident.
Once the jury understands why the accident was caused, they may be less likely to convict or at least be willing to find the defendant not guilty on the most serious charges.
If a defendant is willing, a plea bargain may be a viable option in a case with strong emotional overtones. This may mean some jail time in a case like this, but there may be a greater risk of jail following a trial.
Being charged with a serious offense is not something that should be taken lightly. However, with a proper defense strategy, even the most serious charges can be defended against .
Source: Examiner, “Top court reinstates woman’s conviction for running over boy, 7, in crosswalk,” Kimathi Lewis, Nov. 6, 2012