I once had what I like to call a worst case scenario: a case that seems so impossibly stacked against them that some DUI lawyers wouldn’t even try to fight it.
But I got my client acquitted, and I’d like to share some of the details to give hope to potential clients who think their case is unwinnable.
A woman called me and told me the details of her police stop and arrest on drunk driving charges, asking me what chance she could do to avoid jail time. Another driver had called the police on his cell phone to report her crossing the center line of the road several times.
Then, a police officer arrived and saw her cross the line once before pulling her over. She rolled down the window and he asked her to shut off her car’s engine, which she did.
Then, she suddenly turned the engine back on and tried to roll up the window. At this, the cop grabbed the keys and demanded that she exit the vehicle. According to the cop, she yelled “no” several times.
The cop claimed she smelled of alcohol and staggered out of the vehicle. The cop said she stated that she’d had “a few cocktails” with slurred speech. She refused both the field test and the breath test and was arrested for OUI and taken to the county jail. Two cops said she was uncooperative and appeared drunk at the booking, though she then stated that she hadn’t had anything to drink.
Police Say “Drunk and Uncooperative”; Court Says “Not Guilty”
At first glance, this case appears as if it would be unwinnable. However, after hearing her story, I told her I would represent her and that I was actually optimistic that we could fight the drunk driving charges and win. This is how we won the case and she avoided jail.
As is often the case in this sort of situation, the cell phone caller did not show up in court; then, their testimony about my client’s erratic driving could not be submitted. I argued that she crossed the center line once (in front of the police officer) because it was a dark and unfamiliar road and she was uncertain.
With her testimony, I showed that the reason she rolled up the window and was initially uncooperative because her dog was in the car and she didn’t want him to jump out. I also showed that the police officer’s report of her smelling like alcohol is not proof that she was intoxicated.
The most importance evidence was the video of her at the station. She argued with the cop, but her speech did not seem slurred and the cop actually seemed like he was being rude to her. Refusing a field test or breath test can not be used against you as evidence in court.
By showing that all my client’s supposedly incriminating actions could all be logically explained, I was able to secure an acquittal for her. She did have her license suspended for a period of time, but avoiding jail time is obviously the most important part of the outcome.
If I could help this client with her case, I can certainly help you with yours, no matter how difficult you think it will be.
For a consultation with an experienced Massachusetts DUI Attorney, please call me today. There’s no obligation for my legal advice.
Russell J Matson, Attorney at Law