Britt Reid Sentenced to State Prison for Felony Drunk Driving– How did the judge come up with 3 years and why didn’t receive more prison time?
Our criminal defense law firm represents individuals charged with crimes and offenses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A very common offense is drunk driving. While in many cases, drunk driving is a non-felony charge, if a serious injury occurs or death occurs as the result, it becomes felony charge.
Britt Reid’s Drunk Driving Case & Criminal History
Recently, Britt Reid, the son of former Philadelphia Eagles coach, Andy Reid, pled guilty to drunk driving following an incident in Kansas City where Reid’s impairment caused a multi-vehicle accident severely injuring the five-year-old passenger in Jackson County Missouri on February 21, 2021.
This was not Reid’s first offense, and he has a previous conviction in Pennsylvania for drunk driving in 2007, along with a prior simple assault and unlawful possession of firearm’s charge.
Reid received probation for the unlawful firearm’s charge in 2007 and served at least one month of incarceration for his drunk driving charge in 2008. These prior convictions factored into the three-year sentence which the Judge ordered in this most recent incident.
How did the judge determine a sentence following Reid’s plea?
Reid was charged with a Class D felony where the maximum punishment was seven (7) years of State incarceration. The prosecution asked for a longer state prison sentence, but the Judge decided on a less sentence based on likely mitigation. It is, however, very difficult to find any true mitigation in this case.
It is important to understand that the five-year old’s injuries were obviously a significant obstacle for the defense to overcome. In this situation, a probation sentence was unlikely based on the five-year old’s injuries, along with Reid’s prior criminal history.
Even if Reid, however, had no prior criminal history, he would have still would have likely received at least a long county jail sentence given his intoxication. Reid was apparently driving approximately 84 mph in a 65 zone when his Dodge truck hit the cars. Reid did submit to a blood alcohol test and had a BAC of .113 and the legal limit in Kansas City, Missouri, are similar to Pennsylvania and New Jersey is .08. The excessive spend combined his high BAC all go toward a reckless behavior argument for the prosecution.
Prosecutors in the case asked for four (4) years in State incarceration, while Reid’s criminal defense lawyer asked for probation. The Judge’s sentence was more then likely based on sentencing guidelines which are composed of prior criminal history along with an offense Gravity score. Further, sentencing guidelines allowed the Judge to enhance the sentence for certain aggravation which would include victim’s injuries or perhaps mitigate the sentence based on a lack of prior criminal history or some other significant incident in the defendant’s life.
Trial vs. Plea – How do you decide?
If you’re charged with drunk driving in Pennsylvania or New Jersey it is important to understand that your attorney must evaluate all options including pre-trial Motions to suppress evidence, which would include blood alcohol results. In this situation, Reid’s criminal defense lawyer decided that a non-trial disposition was in his best interest given the likely overwhelming evidence against him.
Had Reid proceeded to trial, he would have likely faced a much more severe sentence closer to the maximum of seven years of State incarceration. Reid will unlikely serve all three years of State incarceration and will likely receive credit for good behavior, prison employment and other programs which can decrease his sentence. Drunk driving cases (DUI/DWI) can happen to anyone despite their station or position in life. While Britt Reid has a father who has accomplished so much professionally in the National Football League, he appears to have a substance abuse issue which has plagued him for most of his life.
If you’re charged with a crime in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, it is important that a long-term substance abuse issue can provide mitigation toward a possible State sentence, and this is an area that you should discuss with your attorney.
What makes a civil DUI case different from a criminal DUI case?
In addition to the criminal prosecution, there was a civil action brought by the victim’s family on her behalf; that case settled for an undisclosed amount. In addition, the Kansas City football team has paid all of the young girl’s medical bills (Ariel Young). The standard in a civil proceedings, however, is far less than what is required at a criminal prosecution (guilt beyond a reasonable doubt). While a civil case will only result in monetary damages, a criminal case could result in fines, probation, a license suspension, jail and perhaps even state prison!
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