Orange County, CA- A former Marine who suffers from post-traumatic syndrome is asking for leniency after he was convicted of DUI in connection to an accident that killed three of his friends and fellow service members.

In December, Jared Hale was convicted of driving under the influence causing great bodily harm which carries a penalty of up to 11 years in jail. But Hale, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder wants leniency.

Hale and three of his friend, all Marines, left a bar in Dana Point close to 2 a.m. February 14th with Hale behind the wheel. According to the Orange County Register, Hale lost control of the car as he approached a curve, causing it to careen across a median. The car then struck a tree on the passenger side, and spun around before coming to a rest.

Two of the Marines, Christopher Arzola, 21; Jeremiah Callahan, 23, were pronounced dead on the scene. Jason Chleborad, 22, the third passenger survived the initial impact but later died at the hospital.

Hale suffered a brain injury and fractured arm. It was later revealed that his blood alcohol level two times the legal limit at the time of the accident. That combined with the wet road conditions led to the tragic accident.

Hale’s attorney, William Paparian, believes his client has a problem and told the OC Register he would ask his client be sent to an alcohol rehabilitation program. He told the court that Hale suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome after a tour in Afghanistan and tried to self-medicate with alcohol.

Some DUI offenders can ask to be entered into a treatment program in lieu of a lengthy prison sentence. Incarcerating a person cost a great deal of money so for certain DUI offenders there are alternatives to jail. DUI offenders who are understand the seriousness of their actions and are repentant are good candidates for alternate sentencing. Experienced lawyers such as Michael Leader can help get you a favorable outcome.

In California there are several diversionary programs, or alternate sentencing programs for DUI and other criminal offenders. While most DUI charges are meant to punish an offender for their behavior, the courts recognize that some people have drug and alcohol addictions and would benefit more from treatment. The thought being that the only way to prevent DUI recidivism is to treat a person’s addiction.

Alternative sentences are a condition of a DUI offender’s probation, but these programs aren’t the right fit for everyone. An Orange County DUI attorney can help you decide if alternative sentencing is the best option for your. Not all of DUI offenders are capable of meeting the strict requirements of these programs so they need to make an informed decision about whether to participate.

Whether or not you are seeking an alternate sentence for your DUI charge or trying to avoid conviction, you need to have an Orange County DUI attorney working in your DUI defense. They understand what compromises the courts are willing to make and what sentencing alternatives will be best for their clients.