Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

Teen Driver Gets Jail Time for Fatal DWI & Facebook Photo

Article Placeholder Image
By Kamika Dunlap on February 02, 2010 12:55 PM

Teen driver Ashley M. Sullivan was already in a heap of trouble after she was convicted of killing her boyfriend while drunk driving.

The seventeen-year-old plead guilty to negligent homicide and DWI and was going to be charged as a minor.

But during the months after the crash a judge found a Facebook photo the teenager posted on her Facebook web page captioned, "Drunk in Florida" and Sullivan's legal troubles only got worse, the Buffalo News reports.

As a result, she was sentenced as an adult for the fatal DWI and received six months in the county jail plus five years' probation. In addition, the judge ordered that after Sullivan gets out of jail, she will be under electronic home monitoring for a year. He also revoked her driver's license.

Probation is the period during which a person, "the probationer," is subject to critical examination, evaluation and court supervision.

"I'm troubled by your conduct since the crash," County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III told Sullivan, "and that's the reason for the jail sentence."

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy could have sentenced Sullivan to as long as four years in state prison. Sullivan also was denied youthful offender status.

In general, youthful offender status grants a young person special status entitling them to a more lenient punishment, such as probation or confinement in a special youth correctional facility, than would otherwise be available. It also is an opportunity freeing the young person from the negative consequences of being convicted and punished as an adult.

Some say this story illustrates yet another example of people making poor Facebook decisions, especially when it comes to posting pictures.

Find a Lawyer

More Options