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Illegal immigrant sentenced in fatal DUI in South Carolina

A 48-year-old man who was allegedly high on a combination of methamphetamine and beer when a fatal crash happened in Sept. 2012 was sentenced on Oct. 17. According to the man's attorney, he was an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had slipped into the country. After pleading to drunk driving charges, he was given the maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Reports say the man had been traveling at around 70 miles per hour down Interstate 77 when he ran into a vehicle that was driven by a University of South Carolina law student. The 48-year-old was allegedly driving the wrong way on the interstate when the accident occurred. The accident resulted in the student suffering from massive brain and body injuries that put him in a coma for three months and has left him requiring 24-hour nursing care.

The 48-year-old man stated that he was remorseful concerning his actions, and he even uttered an apology in Spanish to the family of the deceased student before receiving his sentence. According to reports, the man had left his home country in order to provide for his family. After he completes his sentence, members of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will deport him.

In cases like this, an individual who is faced with charges related to drunk driving may benefit from assistance from an attorney. An attorney may be able to represent a client during both a civil hearing concerning a driver's license suspension and in criminal court. That attorney might also be able to mitigate sentencing by casting doubt on evidence used by the prosecution.

Source: The State, "Illegal immigrant sentenced in DUI that hurt USC law student ", John Monk , October 17, 2013

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