If you have made a mistake of drinking and driving and have killed someone as the result, you need a criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer can argue for a lesser charge from homicide to vehicular manslaughter or just manslaughter of a lesser degree. However, your sentencing actually relies on the ability to forgive. Here is what that means.
You Know the Person You Purportedly Killed
You know the person you hit, and you had a long-term relationship or friendship with this person. You know him/her so well that you know his/her family, too. Undoubtedly, you, as well as the surviving family members, are crushed by this loss. However, the family may be willing to forgive and not pursue you with lawsuits. They may also be out for blood.
You Acknowledge Your Mistake and Beg for Forgiveness
Begging for forgiveness is a very old approach to receiving a lighter sentence. Both in the courts of Kings and lesser courts the world around, you are allowed to plead your case and beg for forgiveness. Via your lawyer, you can write the family of your friend/special friend and ask to be forgiven. Acknowledge your mistake, tell them you are sorry, etc. Make sure you are truly heartfelt in your letter, or the family may not be so inclined to believe you.
You Throw Yourself on the Mercy of the Court
Actually, your lawyer would introduce your request for mercy, or leniency, with your sentence. He or she would argue that your loss and your grief are punishment enough. You may also address the court with a letter that acknowledges your mistake, and ends and leads with an apology. Even if you still receive a harsh sentence, these actions will stick out in parole board's minds.
The Family of Your Friend Requests Leniency Too
Finally, if your friend's family is moved to forgive rather than sue, they too can request leniency on your behalf. They would have to appear at your sentencing hearing, read their prepared personal statements aloud to the judge, and then make their requests that you receive a lighter sentence. The judge takes all of the above into consideration, including the fact that you were drunk at the time of the accident.
Then the judge will rule. He or she will create a sentence that fits your case within the confines of state law. The lightest possible sentence you may receive is house arrest and a revoked license with parole officer visits. The harshest sentence (in some states) is five to twenty years in jail for a first-time offense. This is why the ability to forgive is so important; the family's statements play a vital role in how you are punished. Work with a DUI attorney for more help.