Another way is to look at road design. Is the actual place the collision occurred more to blame? I’ve been involved in second degree murder trials where the best defense was the placement of a bush when a person was looking to take their left-hand turn. Bushes, trees, the way a road is designed, and where stop signs are placed, can all go into a good defense of a serious vehicular homicide case. Even if you might have had alcohol in your system, but if a person who was sober still would’ve made the same mistake, that means you’re no longer reckless.
Interviewer: How about road conditions as they pertain to DUI cases? How might that be used as a defense and how often does it occur?
Munoz: I’m actually handling a case like that right now where an officer says that a person violated a civil traffic law because he made a wide right turn. But the reason why my client made the wide right turn is, he had to make a left, and the left-hand turn lane was placed in such a way that they had to make a wide left turn. Road design can be very, very, very important in a good DUI defense investigation, because it’s easy for the police to say, ‘Well, you didn’t do what you were supposed to do while driving.’ But, they’re not putting themselves in the situation and doing what a reasonable person would do. So, yes, road design makes a big difference in DUI defense.
Interviewer: Continuing with the vehicle crimes, going on down the scale of seriousness from most serious to least serious… We spoke about endangerment, then aggravated assault…
Munoz: Yes, we were talking about aggravated assault. The aggravated assault defenses are similar to the homicide defenses. You attack the accident reconstruction, the road design, you see the causation of the collision, you also attack the blood draw or the breath, whatever chemical test were done, and more. An experienced attorney is going to want to attack those issues.