The client requested assistance from Law-Win (Daejeon branch) immediately after being charged with injuring the victims by driving a car after drinking alcohol and striking the back of the vehicle stopped in front. At the trial, the prosecutor announced the sentence of two years and 10 months imprisonment and the court pronounced him one year in prison. For this judgment, the client and his defense attorney filed an appeal on the grounds of unfair sentencing.
2, Applicable Law
ACT ON THE AGGRAVATED PUNISHMENT, ETC. OF SPECIFIC CRIMES Article 5-11 (Death and Injury due to Dangerous Driving)
By driving a motor vehicle (including a motorcycle) while ability impaired by the influence of alcohol or drugs, a person who causes injury to any other person shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than 15 years or by a fine of not less than 10 million won but not more than 30 million won, or a person who causes death of any other person shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for a definite term or not less than three years, respectively.
3. Assistance of Counsel
For the appeal case, we had to present a new evidence that was not reflected in the first trial. Therefore, the Law-Win defense attorney focused on alleviating concerns about recidivism against the client through a detailed investigation of the client's behavior and family environment. In addition, with a sincere approach, we received petitions from two of the victims who settled with the client and submitted them to the court showing that the victims have no desire to proceed with charges.
As a result, the bench of the Appeal Court overturned the original judgment of one year in prison and pronounced the defendant to one year imprisonment and two years of probation.
5. Significance of the Outcome
Under the act on the aggravated punishment of specific crimes, death and injury due to dangerous driving is a serious crime punishable by imprisonment for not less than 1 year and not more than 15 years, or a fine of not less than 10 million won and not more than 30 million won.
Although the client was a first-time offender, the settlement process was not easy. However, it was essential because the victims suffered significant physical and mental damage due to the client's drunk driving. Fortunately, with the help of a lawyer, the client was able to reach a settlement with the victims, but due to the seriousness of the case, the client was sentenced to one year in prison in the first trial. Nevertheless, the client and the defense attorney did not become discouraged by the outcome of the first trial and appealed. The attorney tried to secure additional sentencing data, such as investigating the home environment and receiving petitions from the victims for the client's sentencing. As a result, the client was sentenced to probation on appeal and was released, allowing her to return to work and support her family. Even if such a serious crime is at risk of punishment, it is evaluated that it is possible to confirm that daily life can be restored if the case is prepared for sentencing with the help of a lawyer with expertise in the relevant field from the beginning of the case without giving up.
Attorney Park, Eun-gook and Lee, Seung-hwan