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Family furious after vehicular manslaughter suspect posts bond

A 28-year-old woman is facing criminal charges after allegedly killing a New York man in a fatal hit-and-run car accident. That defendant, while not charged specifically with vehicular assault, is accused of second-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter, in addition to leaving the scene of a fatal crash and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. The defendant has posted a $100,000 bail and entered a not-guilty plea.

Authorities report that the victim died after being struck by a vehicle in early January while walking to work. The man’s body was located near a creek. Officers claim that the woman hit the 32-year-old victim with her vehicle, but instead of calling police, she took her car to a body shop to repair the damage. Those assertions will likely be sorted out in upcoming criminal proceedings.

The good news for the defendant is that she will still be permitted to avoid a higher bond amount, even though additional charges have been levied against her since the initial bond was set. At first, the woman was only arrested for leaving the scene of a fatal accident, along with vehicular manslaughter. Even with the expanded charges for the fatal DWI accident, the woman will remain free because she was able to post the original bond.

Family members of the victim are furious that the woman is permitted to walk free until her trial occurs. They argue that the bond was too low. The purpose of bail, however, is to motivate a defendant to return to court. Defendants clearly have the right to make bail and return to society so they can carry on with their jobs and other responsibilities. A criminal defense attorney in New York may be able to help promote these defendants’ rights for someone accused of vehicular assault.

Source: Times Herald-Record, “Cornwall woman arraigned in hit-and-run case” Heather Yakin, Feb. 20, 2014