Clients Partial Acquittal Saved Him 5 Months of County Jail Time
DUI of .08 or Greater
It is not impossible to secure a defense verdict for the charge of driving with a .08 or greater blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”). My client was charged with his third DUI in a ten year time period. He was represented by another highly experienced DUI lawyer through his pre-trial conference. At the pre-trial conference, the pre-trial judge offered my client 9 months in the county jail instead of the full year in order to entice my client to plead guilty. After the pre-trial conference my client asked me to take his case to trial. His BAC about one hour after he was observed driving up to the front entrance of the Marriot in Burlingame was alleged to have been a .19/.20. After asking the valet attendant to park his truck, several Marriot employees heard my client talking incoherently. They also witnessed him remove an open bottle of Jack Daniels from the cab of his truck and throw it into his truck bed. Due to my client's increasingly belligerently behavior and the fact that he didn't have a room or a reservation at the Marriot, one of the Marriot staff members called the police. Before Burlingame police could arrive my client fled on foot to a nearby hotel where he hid out on the 4th floor while observing the officers across the street. Eventually however, my client was located and arrested by police. Based upon my client's BAC and using retrograde extrapolation, the District Attorney argued that my client was approximately two and one half times over the .08 legal limit at the time he arrived at the Marriot. Using careful investigation of the crime scene we discovered that there would have been video surveillance of the location where my client drove up to the Marriot. Our investigation also revealed that the arresting officer was the former head of security at the Marriot and he knew almost everything about its video surveillance system. At trial we were successful in having the officer admit that he failed to obtain the surveillance video of the front entrance of the Marriot which would have proved that my client didn't consume the Jack Daniel's until after he arrived at the hotel. After carefully weighing the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses, the jury found my client not guilty of driving with a BAC over a .08. Oddly enough however the jury convicted my client of drunk driving without having heard testimony of any bad driving. Yet despite the jury's inconsistent verdict my client achieved a significant victory because the judge sentenced my client to the statutory minimum of 4 months in the county jail instead of the pre-trial conference offer of 9 months or the maximum of one year. Although not a complete acquittal, my client saved 5 months of his life from the county jail.