DC DUI Lawyer In Court Today: Client Found Not Guilty of DUI Charges after Trial!

  • K. Lawson Wellington,
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When the client is adamant (fairly so, but not overly) that he is NOT guilty and the judge agrees after trial.

Client is arrested for DUI in Washington, DC and maintains (it is captured on police Body Worn Camera/BWC)* that he only had a couple of drinks and was of the opinion that he performed well on the standard field sobriety tests. I agreed with him after reviewing the video. At the police station he refuses to submit to the breath test which, once again, is his right BUT there can be potential consequences at the DC DMV where they can try, based on this refusal alone, to revoke your DC driving privileges for one (1) year.

Before we got to a trial posture the prosecutor offered a plea option to resolve the case positively, but client refused to agree to the Deferred Sentencing Agreement offer. It required him to admit to the DUI charge and after one (1) year the case is dismissed with no conviction record.

At trial, it was very telling that the prosecutor did not seek to introduce the Body Worn Camera* video footage – whether deliberate choice or inadvertent omission – but chose instead to rely solely on the testimony of one officer (two were present at trial call). Officer X testified that client had a “slurred speech” and that he displayed poor balance, among other things, on the Walk and Turn and One-Legged Stand Tests. Needless to say we disagreed. On cross-examination, Officer X admitted, reluctantly, that client had no difficulty exiting his vehicle when asked to do so – he did not use the steering wheel or car door for support and did not lean on or touch the vehicle for support. In fact, he conceded that client’s balance was “good” when doing other things than performing the tests he had him do. (The government did not seek to introduce the results of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – HGN). In my client’s defense and in addition to his testimony – credibility can be a big factor in a judge’s ruling – we introduced the body worn camera footage. We believe it made ALL the difference.

The judge, we noticed, paid careful attention to the body worn camera video. He attributed what the prosecutor, “high level of speed”, according to the officer’s testimony, tried to portray as “bad driving” to what amounted to “aggressive driving”. In his ruling he said, “I do not find the evidence compelling” and, as such, “it doesn’t rise to the level of beyond a reasonable doubt”. For that reason I find Mr.______________ “Not Guilty”! #ImDoneHere!

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