A Calgary man who was convicted of killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk has filed an appeal of his six-year sentence. The man is reportedly arguing that the sentence was too long given the facts of his case, and that the sentence should have more appropriately been in the range of four or five years.
The man was reportedly driving a minivan on July 25, 2012 when he crossed the centre line, colliding head-on into the 45-year-old motorcyclist. His blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was reportedly three times the legal limit. He additionally had two prior drunk driving convictions, one dating from 1993 and the other dating from 2000.
The man is arguing that the court placed too much weight on his old drunk driving convictions while also ignoring mitigating information. He reportedly quit drinking following the accident and demonstrated remorse. The crown prosecutor is arguing that the man's sentence was appropriate. The appeals court judges have not yet issued their ruling and will do so later.
Appeals may be difficult as they often turn on highly complex legal arguments. Typically, appellate courts do not like to disturb the rulings of lower courts, doing so only when errors were made. People who wish to appeal their cases may thus want to seek the help of a litigation and appeals lawyer. A lawyer may be better equipped to research and write the appellate briefs necessary to assist their clients. They might then advocate on behalf of their client with arguments and with countering the other side's legal positions. If an appeal is granted, the case may go back for a new trial or a ruling in line with the appellate court's findings.
Source: Calgary Herald, "Drunk driver who killed motorcyclist appeals six-year sentence," Jason Van Rassel, March 24, 2015.