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Off-duty Pennsylvania cop convicted of fatal DUI charges

An off-duty police officer will serve at least three years in jail for causing an accident that killed a man while she was under the influence of alcohol. The 47-year-old woman was convicted of homicide by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and two counts of DUI. The Pennsylvania resident didn't take a plea bargain since she believed she was not directly to blame for the crash.

The prosecuting attorney reminded the jury that the off-duty cop told jurors that the off-duty cop was driving drunk when her vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane, striking another vehicle and killing the driver. Her defense team didn't disagree, going so far as to call the accused wasted with a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit of .08. But they argued that the driver of the northbound vehicle was at fault -- the vehicle driven by the man who was killed. Jurors disagreed.

The woman had been a police officer for 10 years. She has been on unpaid suspension for a year. She is free on 10 percent of $30,000 bond. Her sentencing is set for Aug. 1.

There are proper ways police are to collect evidence when it comes to charging someone with DUI. A person must be taken into custody using the letter of the law. Those who have been charged with this or similar crimes may do well speaking to a Pennsylvania attorney to understand exactly what their rights are and to obtain guidance on how they should move forward to fight the charges.

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  • Allegheny County Bar Association
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