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Driver charged with DWI, vehicular homicide in death of bicyclist

Last month, a bicyclist died in Baton Rouge after a man allegedly ran over and killed him on Chadsford Avenue. Following the incident, police charged the driver with vehicular homicide and DWI.

According to sources, the 30-year-old victim and a friend had been bicycling on Perkins Road in the late evening when the driver crashed into them from behind and ran over them. The victim reportedly died at the scene, while his 31-year-old friend received non-life threatening injuries to his lower body.

The victim had apparently been a bicycle commuter for many years in Baton Rouge and worked at a bike shop on Government Street. Sadly, he left behind a 5-year-old daughter.

The driver has also been charged with first degree vehicular negligent injury and reckless operation of a vehicle.

While any accident story involving a death is tragic, it is important to remember that criminal defendants have various rights that must be respected. This is part of what makes our criminal justice system what it is.

These rights include the right to avoid self-incrimination during arrest and trial, the right to legal representation and the right to a speedy, public jury trial. Government officials must also ensure that any searches and seizures it undertakes are conducted legally, following the proper procedures.

It is the task of defense attorneys to ensure that these rights are protected and to assist the accused presenting the best possible defense to accusations against them. When a defendant's rights are not protected, there are consequences, and a attorney can help in determining the best course of action.

Source: The Advocate, "Bicyclist killed Saturday night," Christopher Baughman, January 23, 2012.

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