›››The following content is an excerpt from a live interview with Richard Jacobs founder of my DUI Attorney dot org. The interview has been transcribed and contains information for educational purposes only. Please call Michael Munoz to get legal advice for your particular situation
Interviewer: What are some of the other defenses that you might raise if they were appropriate to defense for?
Munoz: There are many types of defenses to serious vehicular cases, especially vehicular homicide cases and aggravated assault cases. Anytime you’re dealing with collisions, one of the best defenses is who caused the collision and causation is usually the best defense an experienced vehicular criminal defense lawyer is going to attack. If it can be shown that the collision did not happen because of the defendant, but it happened because maybe the other person was driving bad or inappropriately, then that is a good defense to these charges. This way the argument is alcohol was not the reason why the collision happened, the collision happened because of the other person’s bad driving.
Other defenses are how the state might have done accident reconstruction. That goes into causation but sometimes the state’s experts will give reason that they believe caused the collision. They’ll talk about time distance analysis, they’ll talk about breaking, they’ll use crush analysis. They’ll use all these different types of accident reconstruction to essentially give their theory of why the collision occurred. What is necessary is to attack their reconstruction and to hire experts in defense of a person’s case. That’s a really good way to defend these cases.
Another way is to look at road design. Is the actual place the collision occurred more to blame? I’ve actually been involved in second degree murder trials where really the best defense was maybe the placement of a bush when a person was looking to take their left-hand turn. Bushes, trees, the way a road is designed, where stop signs are placed can all go into a good defense of a serious vehicular homicide case because, yes, you might have had alcohol in your system, but if a person who was sober still would’ve made the same mistake then that means you’re no longer reckless.
…We were talking about aggravated assault. The aggravated assault defenses are kind of the same as the homicide defenses. You go after the accident reconstruction, you go after the road design, you see the causation of the collision, you also attack the blood draw or the breath, whatever chemical test is done your always going to want to attack those issues.
Other things can come into play as well, sometimes the client might have their own medical issues. This happens a lot in cases. Sometimes a person was not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Simply just maybe had a severe medical condition and maybe had prescription drugs in their system. Some people have been diagnosed with sleep disorders, some people have bad eyesight, but they still have the privilege to drive and they get in collisions. These are all good defenses when the state is saying you murdered somebody Because sometimes it’s not murder it’s just an accident.
Interviewer: How about road conditions as they pertain to DUI cases? Does that come up very much? How could that be used as a defense?
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 take a left and the left-hand turn lane was immediately right where he had to be. I mean, it was a situation where he had to do it to get into the left hand turn lane. Road design can be very, very, very important in a good DUI defense investigation. Because it’s very easy for the police to say, ‘Well, you didn’t do what you were supposed to do 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.