CHICAGO (CBS)–A hit-and-run victim is calling for justice after a driver left him seriously injured and got off with little more than probation.
Legal experts tell CBS 2 the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Josh Galvin of suburban Gurnee remembers the life-changing night nearly a year ago when he was struck by a Chevy Equinox and tossed into an intersection in north suburban Glenview.
It was a life-changing injury for Galvin, a father of five young children. He says he injured his spine and fractured his leg–injuries that left him unable to work or drive.
“I can’t even pick up my two-year-old son,” Galvin said.
The driver of the Chevy that struck him took off, police say. Surveillance video captured the license plate number of that vehicle and the 62-year-old driver later turned himself in.
He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failing to give aid and driving without a valid license.
But what happened next shocked Galvin and his family.
“I’m the victim but I feel like I was the person who did wrong here,” Galvin said.
The driver received no jail time and a court fine of $700.
The driver’s insurance will cover just a fraction of Galvin’s medical costs.
“It seldom, if ever, is truly justice,” said attorney Bennett Baker, who said hit-and-run cases are somewhat common in Illinois.
The perceived lack of justice in hit-and-run cases is a product of the State’s Attorney’s office being bogged down with cases, Bennett said.
Plea deals are often the most effective remedy.
The driver in this case also had no prior convictions, which could have led to a lighter sentence.
The court often sifts through cases quickly due to the need to move on to the next case in the criminal docket.
Galvin is now pushing for changes in the system by preparing a petition to send to his local lawmakers.
“If you do something bad, you get a slap on the wrist for it,” Galvin said.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment.