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Successful defense may keep driver in fatal accident out of jail

The scenario: A man under the influence of alcohol drives down a California road at about 9:30 p.m. A bicycle operated by a young woman crosses his path and a collision occurs. Injured, the cyclist dies from her wounds the next day.

To many, this seems like a clear-cut case in which an intoxicated motorist caused the death of an innocent. However, things are not always what they seem. If there was ever a good example of how there are two sides to every story, this is it.

The motorist, a member of a prominent California vineyard-owning family, admits that he had been drinking. He also acknowledges that he struck the bicycle. With solid help from his legal team, however, he may not have to serve any prison time. Here is why.

  • The cyclist darted out directly in front of the vehicle
  • The cyclist was under the influence of methamphetamine
  • The high level of the drug in her system may have resulted in erratic behavior or hallucinations
  • The motorist showed no signs of intoxication in a field sobriety test

At the recent conclusion of the motorist's criminal case, he received a sentence of 90 days' jail time. Reportedly, the man's legal team will apply to have the sentenced carried out via work release. He also received the following orders from the court.

  • Pay $2,018 in court fees and fines
  • Perform 100 hours of community service
  • Serve five years on probation
  • Install interlock ignition devices on each of his vehicles
  • Attend and complete DUI school

When criminal defense attorneys combine irrefutable evidence with sound defense strategies, it allows hidden truths to emerge in cases that seem clear-cut. This is a prime example of the way the American justice system should work.

Source: Fox News, "Vineyard heir will likely avoid prison in DUI death of cyclist, mother of five," Benjamin Brown, April 06, 2018

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