Articles Posted in DUI Defense

Recently, a 23-year-old woman passed away due to injuries she suffered as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a three-car accident. According to news reports, Thomas Walters of Virginia Beach did not stop at an intersection, which resulted in a rear-end collision. He is now facing criminal charges including driving under the influence. on-the-rocks-2-268881-m-300x276

Penalties for DUI that results in the death of another person differ from state to state, however in Michigan those charged with DUI causing death may face up to 15 years behind bars along with possible fines of up to $10,000. Restitution and vehicle forfeiture or immobilization are also possible, and prosecutors may determine the offender should face murder charges. This is an extremely serious situation for anyone facing such charges; the consequences are life-changing.

When facing serious criminal charges including those involving DUI, it’s critical to obtain the legal guidance and support of an attorney who is fully dedicated to his or her client, and most importantly securing the best possible result. Unfortunately, many criminal defense law firms focus more on building a sizeable client base than providing outstanding legal guidance. Our firm focuses heavily on skilled representation for those charged with various drunk driving offenses including those that result in the injury or death of someone else as well as repeat offenders or individuals charged with “Super Drunk” offenses.

What began as a dispute between neighbors over loud music resulted in the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling that it is not illegal to operate a vehicle in your own driveway after drinking too much. bottles-300369-m-225x300

According to a report at Michigan Public Radio Network, a man was charged with OWI after a neighbor called police repeatedly because of loud music. Apparently, the man who had consumed a substantial amount of liquor was sitting in his car in his own driveway, listening to music. When police arrived, an officer witnessed the man back his vehicle out of the garage, then drive it back in.

Because he never left his driveway, the defendant argued there was no crime committed. In a two-to-one decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed, finding the charge was not supportable as that specific area of the driveway was not generally accessible to other vehicles or the public.

Recently, 51-year-old Lisa Jacobs, a prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, resigned her position after being arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. iStock_000016750168_Large-2-300x200

According to a news report at CBS Miami, Jacobs had been a prosecutor with the office for 18 years. At the time of the incident which occurred on I-95 near the Hallandale Beach Blvd. exit, Jacobs’s children, ages 10 and 14, were in the vehicle with her.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper said that Jacobs had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and was unable to maintain her balance. Jacobs admitted that while at the Outback Steakhouse, she had three glasses of wine before leaving to pick her children up from Cooper City.

On April 3, Debra Gately, Principal at Dedham Middle School was arrested at approximately 12:45 a.m. by Weston police for driving while intoxicated. According to news reports, Gately’s blood alcohol content at the time of her arrest was .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent. Gately, who is 44 years old, submitted to a chemical breath test and field sobriety tests, which she failed. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge. iStock_000009751642_Full-2-300x253

Gately admitted to Weston Officer Robert Powell that she had consumed three vodka drinks. Powell said that Gately’s speech was significantly slurred, her eyes glassy, red, and bloodshot, and that her breath smelled strongly of alcohol.

Gately, who was selected by the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association as middle school principal of the year for 2015, has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues. She was spotted by a Waltham police officer who claimed Gately was driving erratically on I-95 before pulling off the interstate into the parking lot of a day care center. The officer, who said she nearly crashed four times, followed Gately and took her car keys before Weston police arrived on the scene.

On Friday, April 1, an 18-year-old man was charged with one count each of DUI, possession of a forged instrument, reckless driving, and two counts of vehicular homicide after a crash on Colorado Boulevard resulted in the deaths of two women. A-Defense-Lawyers-Guide-to-DWI-DUI-Prevention-Pic-217x300

Taden Jones was reportedly crashed into another vehicle just after 3:30 p.m. on Friday as he was driving in the area of South Colorado Boulevard and East Peakview Circle in Centennial. Two women were inside the vehicle Jones crashed with, one of them ejected from the vehicle who died at the scene. The other woman was injured and taken to a hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Jones and a passenger in his vehicle were not injured. Jones was arrested and booked at the Arapahoe County Detention Facility, his bond set at $50,000.

In August of 2015, 20-year-old Jared Gerhardt was charged with a single count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury. The accident took place in March, when Gerhardt was allegedly driving 100 mph before his Camaro veered toward a sign and ultimately left the road before rolling numerous times and coming to rest in a field. iStock_000009751642_Full-2-300x253

Three people were in the vehicle when the crash occurred; Gerhardt, 20-year-old Austin Myers, and 17-year-old Wyatt M. Barry. Myers and Gerhardt were thrown from the car during the accident. Barry ran to a nearby residence for help, and told deputies upon their arrival that Myers had been driving Gerhardt’s Camaro initially, but at some point the two switched places. Before the crash occurred, news articles indicate Myers grabbed the wheel while Gerhardt was driving when the vehicle began leaving the road, then Gerhardt overcorrected causing him to lose control.

Gerhardt, now 21 years old, pleaded guilty to the charge which is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Austin Myers suffered a broken arm in the crash, and Gerhardt was very remorseful in court according to reports, saying that he made a very bad decision and got behind the wheel under the influence. He also said he felt bad that his friend was hurt in the accident.

Recently, 27-year-old Jose A. Ortiz of Napa was stopped by St. Helena Police officers after failing to stop at a stop sign. Now, Ortiz faces a felony DUI charge after it was determined it was Ortiz’s fourth arrest for driving under the influence within the last 10 years, according to news reports. iStock_000068527987_Large-2-300x200

Ortiz allegedly turned onto southbound Main Street from eastbound Spring Street without stopping; officers also noted that Ortiz sped up to 41 mph in a 25 mph zone before they pulled him over, according to Sgt. Chris Hartley.

Hartley claims that Ortiz had a BAC (blood alcohol content) above the .08 percent legal limit in California upon taking a breath test. He also failed field sobriety tests, and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. A fourth DUI arrest in California is charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Ortiz was booked into the Napa County Jail.

In the early morning hours of March 20, a 20-year-old Norwalk woman was charged with drunk driving while underage and a litany of other charges after she fled the scene of a traffic stop, according to news reports. Jenna Jewell is accused of attacking police officers as well, and faces charges that in addition to DUI include reckless driving, use and possession of drug paraphernalia, engaging in pursuit, assault on a peace officer, and more. iStock_000009751642_Full-2-300x253

Norwalk police officers claim that just before 3 a.m. on Sunday, they witnessed an SUV with its headlights turned off driving in a northbound direction on North Main St. Police followed the vehicle, and noticed the female driver was operating the SUV in an erratic manner. After Jewell allegedly ran a red light, police used lights and sirens and gave chase. Police claim that with headlights still off, she continued to ignore red lights and eventually pulled over at an intersection, where her SUV struck the curb.

As police scanned her license plate, the woman sped away once more and drove in a dangerous manner, nearly colliding with another vehicle. The next time she stopped, officers removed her from the SUV in an effort to prevent her from fleeing the scene once more.

Recently, 39-year-old Anthony Broadfoot of South Lake Tahoe was arrested for his third DUI in three iStock_000009751642_Full-2-300x253months. According to news reports, Broadfoot, an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy was on paid administrative leave when the latest incident took place.

Broadfoot was involved in a crash in the Shingle Springs area where he allegedly struck a parked vehicle in a parking lot. California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene, and upon investigating arrested Broadfoot on suspicion of DUI.

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In January of last year, Michigan State Police Trooper Sammy Seymour Jr. was pulled over while off duty in Ludington. He was initially charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicatediStock_000016894637_XXXLarge-2-300x200 and open intoxicant in a vehicle, however the judge dismissed the second charge because the beer can which would have contained fingerprints had been discarded, and the officer failed to check the box on the ticket. Seymour was placed on administrative leave, but is now back on road patrol out of Cadillac after recently pleading guilty to reduced charges.

Although Seymour was driving a Volkswagen Jetta at the time he was pulled over, a negotiated plea deal allowed him to plead guilty to operating an off-road vehicle (ORV) while visibly impaired. Through this plea negotiation, Seymour will not have restrictions placed on his driver’s license. The trial judge in the case suppressed the results of a Datamaster breath alcohol test, which meant the jury would not have heard this evidence had the case gone to trial. This would have made obtaining a conviction difficult for prosecutors.

The first trial took place in May of last year, however the judge declared a mistrial after the jury became deadlocked. While prosecutors intended to put Seymour on trial once again and appealed the suppression of the Datamaster breath results by the judge, a higher court judge agreed that suppression of some of the evidence was proper, including roadside statements made during the traffic stop and results of certain field sobriety tests.