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Man's plea deal in criminal court upsets accident victim's family

Losing a loved one due to someone breaking the law is heartbreaking. Some families hope that the criminal justice system will help them feel a sense of justice in the aftermath of their death. Unfortunately, the punishment decided by the court system does not always give families the peace they are seeking. Recently, in a Wisconsin criminal case for a drunk driving accident that resulted in two deaths, the drunk driver was allowed to plead guilty, resulting in shortened jail sentence.

An off-duty firefighter was leaving a baseball game and made the unfortunate decision to operate his vehicle after consuming alcohol. The poor decision resulted in a collision with another car that was driven by an Uber driver. Both the Uber driver and the businessman he was transporting were killed.

The firefighter faced four different charges, but in his plea deal two were dismissed. According to his charges, he could have spent up to 50 years in prison. Instead, the plea deal he accepted lessened his sentence to eight years with four years of monitoring. His sentence will be final upon a judge's approval.

The families of the deceased victims are understandably upset. They do not feel like the criminal courts offered sufficient justice for their loved one's deaths. Wisconsin families in similar circumstances also have the right to seek justice in a civil court, as these families may have already done. Although a favorable verdict in a civil court will not bring back loved ones killed in an accident, it may result in some compensation to help cover burial expenses and other documented monetary losses. Personal injury attorneys in Wisconsin can advise anyone who has lost loved ones in a similar drunk driving accident of their rights and options in civil court.

Source: tmj4.com, "Former firefighter reaches plea deal in fatal Opening Day crash", Rebecca Klopf, May 2, 2017

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