DUI Defense

Aggravated Assault by DUI

Attorney(s): Christopher A. Sarno, Esq.
Client Profile: Pickup truck driver
Summary:

Our client was involved in a car accident over Labor Day weekend.
 
At a very dangerous intersection, our client was inching out in his pickup truck to turn left. He did not see two motorcycles coming down the road. Both motorcycle riders were severely injured, while our client was not injured at all.
 
The police immediately conducted field sobriety tests, and claimed to have smelled marijuana. Marijuana was found in a vacuum-sealed bag hidden in the dashboard.

Case Highlights

  • The issue was whether the accident was simply an accident or whether it was an accident because my client was impaired.
  • The police immediately charged my client with Aggravated Assault by Vehicle While DUI (F2), Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury (F3), Possession of Marijuana, and DUI — not to mention several summary traffic citations.
  • My client acknowledged that if the police were to draw blood, marijuana would be in his system, but not from that day. He refused to give a blood test.
  • Prior to trial, through the filing of Motions in Limine and hearings where oral argument was held to determine the validity and admissibility of those Motions, we were able to get the medical records for the two injured on the motorcycle. Through the examination of these records, we were able to discovery that one of the riders was under the influence of marijuana himself.
  • At trial, my client admitted to the possession of marijuana, but denied being under the influence the day of the accident.
  • Through accident reconstruction and strong argument to dispel the validity of the field sobriety test, the jury came back with a verdict of Not Guilty on all counts, except the possession of marijuana, which we conceded.
  • Prior to trial, our client was offered a sentence of 4 to 8 years in state prison. This was a benefit, as he was facing 7 to 14 years.

Our Approach

Our strategy was to poke holes in the validity of the field sobriety test in order to show they are subjective, and not indicative of impairment. Moreover, our goal was to argue that possession of marijuana does not necessary mean it was smoked that day. For instance, if you pick up a case of beer and then get into an accident on the way home, does that mean you are drunk because you had beer in the car?
 
Lastly, through accident reconstruction, we were able to prove that the accident was simply just an accident. Like the many that happen every day, there was no evidence to indicate that our client was impaired.

Result

Our client was found Not Guilty, and instead of going to state prison for 7 to 14 years, he paid a fine for the possession of marijuana.

“Very helpful in a difficult situation in negotiating a resolution. I would highly recommend this practice.”

Robert Frazier   |   Google review