King is among the first individuals in West Virginia to be sentenced under the new law change. If King committed the crime prior to June 2015, he would have faced a sentence of 1-3 years, a term that had been on the books for over a decade and perhaps even much longer, Jason Glass confirmed according to the news report; but on Friday, Harrison Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell ordered King to prison for 2-5 years for felony third-or-subsequent DUI.
While this was King’s third offense DUI, he reportedly had eight convictions over his 27 years as an adult, the news report indicated. Had King killed someone as part of his conduct, he would have faced a prison sentence of 3-to-15 years as the law change also increased the prison term for DUI with death from 2-to-10 years to 3-to-15 years. King will have to serve 2 years before even becoming eligible for parole, the news report indicated.
Law changes are common and as stated, often go unnoticed by the general public. In California, when a law change increased the “look-back” period for DUI offenses from 7-to-10 years, most of the general public was unaware of the law change until they were charged with a multiple offense after the passage of the statutory law. Those who committed an offense before the effective date of the law change were treated differently than those who committed an offense after the effective date of the law change – this case demonstrates just how much of an impact such a law change could have on anyone charged with a crime regardless of whether they were aware of the law change or not as ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law.
Blog Entry: King - DUI Law Changes (Peter F. Iocona, Attorney at Law)