Today I have a very happy client. He was alleged to have driven his truck into an electrical box, some bushes, then back up and run over a stop sign while 8 people witnessed the incident. One of the witnesses called 911 and when police arrived, that witness rode with them to the area the truck was last seen. The officers found the truck with debris from the bushes and matched the tire tread to the marks left at the scene. Additionally, the truck's hood was warm to the touch, indicating to them that it had recently been driven.
The officers were able to ascertain who the registered owner of the vehilce was by running the plate through dispatch. They then confronted my client at his home and although he admitted to driving earlier, he was never asked about the incident. The officers just assumed he had to have been the driver. The witness was unable to identify who the driver was at the time because it was very dark. My client was arrested and charged with DUI, Hit and Run of Property, and Reckless Driving. He was also alleged to have blown a .211 and .217 after his arrest at the station.
We had an evidentiary hearing last week to address the issue of corpus delicti (proof of driving) and many other issues (probable cause, admissibility of the BAC, etc.). Prior to the hearing I attempted to negotiate the case with the prosecutor who flat out laughed at me stating there was no problems with their case.
After a two hour heairng and testimony from two officers the judge (at the King County District Court) advised the matter would be taken under consideration and a written order issued subsequently. Yesterday I arrived at my office and found that order. The judge concluded that since no one witnessed my client drive, that his admission to driving was insufficient to place him behind the wheel at the time of driving and dismissed the matter.
This goes to show you that you never know what will happen once you get in there and litigate.
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