According to the Associated Press, the prosecutor handling the DUI homicide case in Ohio where the suspect got online and confessed on the internet is seeking the maximum sentence allowed under that state’s DUI laws.
Approximately one month ago, Matthew Cordle filmed a video confessing to hitting ad killing a man while driving drunk. Cordle then posted the video online and stated that he would not defend the case with his DUI attorney, but in the alternative go into court and plead guilty immediately to all charges in the case.
According to the story, the average sentence for vehicular homicide in Ohio is eight years in prison. Colorado DUI law is similar, and a DUI vehicular homicide charge in this State carries a presumptive range to the Department of Corrections from between four and twelve years.
Prosecutors often seem the maximum sentence in vehicular homicide and assault cases that involve drunk driving. The decision by the district attorney in Ohio is not a surprise given the trend to be ‘tough on crime.’
Acceptance of responsibility is one strategy in criminal cases when a defendant seeks a lesser sentence than that charged. In the federal system, there is an automatic downward departure for acceptance of responsibility, which means that a defendant will receive a lesser sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines should he or she accept a plea bargain or plead guilty as opposed to proceeding to trial. While most state courts do not have such a law, frequently criminal defendants will plead guilty in hopes that the sentencing judge will be more lenient.
Sentencing in the Cordle case is scheduled for Wednesday.