(Image Credit: Shutterstock)
Pennsylvania lawmakers recently passed "Kevin's Law," which will significantly increase the mandatory sentence for persons convicted in Fatal Hit-and-Run Accidents. Named after Kevin Miller, a 5 year old boy who was killed by a hit-and-run driver, the law seeks to fix a perceived loophole in this sentencing law.
Prior to the change, a driver found guilty in a fatal hit-and-run accident would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in jail. However, a person convicted of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI would face a mandatory sentence of 3 years in prison. As a result, supporters of the law suggested that this disparity in sentencing encouraged drunk drivers to flee the scene of accidents because it is difficult to secure evidence of DUI as time passes and alcohol leaves a person's system.
In response, Pennsylvania has passed "Kevin's Law" increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for persons convicted of Accidents Involving Death from 1 year to 3 years in jail and making it equal to the mandatory sentence for Homicide by Vehicle While DUI. (Note: "Alisa's Law," currently pending in PA, seeks to increase the mandatory minimum sentence for persons convicted in Fatal DUI Accidents. To learn more, check out my previous blog post, "Increased Penalties for Homicide by Vehicle While DUI in PA?".)
Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury
Under Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Law Section 3742, any driver of a vehicle resulting in an Accident Involving Death or Personal Injury must stop at the scene or as close to as possible and remain on the scene to provide information and render aid to the injured parties.
Failure to remain on the scene of such accident and comply with the law's requirements could result in a criminal charge of Accidents Involving Death or Person Injury. Where the accident results in death, the person charged would face a mandatory sentence of 3 years under "Kevin's Law."
About the Author:
Attorney Shawn M. Curry focuses his practice on Criminal & DUI Defense. Over the last 8 years, he has been Helping People accused of crimes throughout Central PA. During that time, he has negotiated, as well as litigated through suppression, trial, and appeal, numerous violent crimes and cases involving death or personal injury. Attorney Curry understands that a quality defense is not just about the law but, also, the people whose lives it impacts.