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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Defendant’s Sentence is Reduced

Posted on in Criminal Defense

During Memorial Day Weekend, 2009, Wade Thomas, 44, and his wife, Denise, 45, were on a motorcycle that was part of a line of bikes heading north on Illinois State Route 47. Alia Bernard, who was driving south in a 1999 Toyota Solara, rear-ended the car in front of her, which was the last in the line of three cars stopped; the first car waiting for the bikes to pass in order to take a left-hand turn. The impact of Bernard’s car caused a chain reaction which pushed the first car left into the oncoming bike, killing the Thomases and injuring another dozen people.

According to a report in the Kane County Chronicle, tests showed that Bernard, now 28, had marijuana in her system at the time of the crash. Her lawyer had argued that she had consumed the marijuana several days before the crash and was not impaired while she was driving. Prosecutors had originally charged her with reckless homicide. More than a year later, a charge of aggravated DUI was added after a court ruling that a charge of DUI is valid even if a defendant only has drug residue in their system and is not impaired at the time of the alleged offense.

Bernard had pled guilty to two counts of felony aggravated driving under the influence and was sentenced to seven years in prison. But at a recent court hearing, a judge denied Bernard’s motion to withdraw her guilty plea. Her attorney had argued that prosecutors erred when they added the aggravated DUI charges. The judge disagreed and dismissed the motion. Her attorney had also requested that the court reduce Bernard’s sentence to probation. The judge agreed that there were “mitigating circumstances” and reduced her sentence to six years.

This case is a perfect example of how complicated and confusing criminal charges can be and why it is essential to have an experienced Naperville criminal attorney defending you. Our criminal defense lawyers in Naperville can provide legal advice to help you minimize the consequences of your arrest. Contact us today!

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