17 Year Old to Be Tried as Adult in DUI Negligence Case
Mohamad Azzan, 17, was arrested on February 17, 2017, for suspected drunk driving after his car which may have been headed the wrong way on Elmore in Anchorage, Alaska, struck a Volvo driven by Bobby Hobson. While Bobby was severely injured in the accident, his wife Donna had to be extracted from the vehicle. She passed away shortly afterward at an area hospital.
What Did Witnesses See
Witnesses reported that they saw the vehicle being driven by Mohamad going the wrong way on Elmore at a high rate of speed. They reported that they witnessed the car being driven recklessly near 64th Avenue where the accident occurred. One driver said she had to swerve wildly to avoid being hit while a snow plow driver says that he had to change lanes to avoid the car. She said that she was afraid that the car would hit her vehicle.
Charged with Drunk Driving
Police took the teen into custody for suspected drunk driving. The officers said that they suspected that Muhammad was drunk because of his slurred speech. They did not take a blood sample for over three hours, but it was still well above the legal limit. Despite the fact that Muhammad is only 17, the district attorney has announced that he will try Mohamad as an adult.
Manslaughter Charges Placed on Teen
The teen was charged with manslaughter. This charge is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The district attorney must prove that Muhammad knew that driving while drunk was wrong, so a good defense attorney may help him defeat this charge.
The district attorney could have charged him with negligent homicide, which is a Class B felony if he thought Muhammad unwillingly killed Donna Hubson. This charge could be punishable by spending only 10 years in prison and paying only a $500,000 fine. Remembering that people seldom serve their entire sentences, Muhammad might still have a chance of becoming a productive citizen.
Alternatively, the district attorney could have charged him with second-degree murder punishable by up to 99 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The right attorney may get this charge thrown out of court altogether or greatly reduced. While you are emotionally involved in the case, a good lawyer can look at the case from a legal standpoint making sure that your rights are and have been protected.
Third-degree Assault Charges
The district attorney also charged Muhammad with third-degree assault. For this charge, the teen faces a Class A felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine. In this case, the district attorney must prove that the teen used his car as a dangerous weapon with the purpose of killing the lady. The district attorney had the right to charge the teen with first, second or third-degree assault.
Driving Under the Influence
The teen was also charged with driving under the influence. A good attorney can often beat this charge using a number of different arguments. A good lawyer may dispute that Muhammad was drunk at the scene of the accident. He may challenge the results of the blood tests. The lawyer may also challenge that Muhammad’s Miranda Rights were followed. The lawyer will also look for signs that Muhammad was treated differently based on his ethnicity. A lawyer may also be able to prove that the witnesses did not really see what they thought they saw.
During his first court appearance, the teen’s bond was set at $10,000, and he has to have a court-approved third-party custodian before he can be released.
Facing Complex Alaska Laws
While this case has drawn press attention for trying a 17-year-old as an adult, almost everyone who is arrested in Alaska while possibly drunk faces two different charges. Therefore, it is vital that people seek competent legal help immediately. The laws in Alaska are different and complex. Those from outside Alaska may even be barred from leaving the state until the case comes to the court making their lives even more complicated.
Decision to Try Muhammad as an Adult
In this case, even if Muhammad is guilty, then a lawyer may help Muhammad be tried as a youth instead of as an adult. The penalties for youth are usually less severe. Often results are not shown on criminal background reports after a person becomes an adult. Often teens end up with rehabilitation instead of prison time.
If you find you or your child in a case like Muhammad’s, then it is vital that you contact DUIwise immediately. The laws can be very complex. The police have lawyers working on their side, and you also need lawyers working on your side. Yet, many people get lost in the complexities of the law because they do not seek good legal representation. Do not let this happen to you. Instead, contact DUIwise.com today.