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PIttsburgh DUI Defense: Trooper Crash Results in Homicide Charges

PIttsburgh DUI Defense: Trooper Crash Results in Homicide Charges


The arrest of a state trooper on vehicular homicide charges in Pennsylvania highlights the need for an aggressive Pittsburgh DUI defense lawyer whenever a motorist is slapped with an alcohol violation following a serious or fatal accident.

Trooper Jeffrey Michael Dalessandro, 35, of Canonsburg, is facing a slew of charges following an accident on Route 8 in Meadville, which claimed the life of a 21-year-old Edinboro man. The Post-Gazette reports the trooper is facing charges of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, careless driving, reckless driving and disregarding a travel lane. Authorities contend he was driving his personal vehicle when it crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with the victim.

The nine-year veteran of the department has been suspended without pay, according to a spokesperson. He is free after posting 10 percent of a $25,000 bond.

Defense of a vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide charge requires a defense of both the DUI charge and the allegation that the defendant was responsible for causing the accident. CBS Pittsburgh reports the trooper admitted to having four beers prior to the accident and had a blood-alcohol level of .147. The legal limit for drunk driving in Pennsylvania is .08.

Unfortunately, when a driver who is involved in a serious or fatal accident is determined to have been drinking, authorities are all too often quick to conclude their investigation and find the driver at-fault. An experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney will need to conduct a thorough review of the accident; this may include hiring and independent accident reconstructionist.

If a defendant is found not guilty of drunk driving, or if it is determined he was not at fault in causing the accident, he shouldn't be convicted of DUI manslaughter or DUI homicide. And the stakes are high: those convicted of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident can face a mandatory three-year prison sentence.