There are far too many people who, when they see or read that someone has been arrested for DUI, will automatically assume – and believe – the person guilty and will demand severe punishment, ALL without the benefit of actually knowing ANY facts of the case. The simple announcement of the arrest is enough convict. This is not only legally wrong, but is ALSO both ethically AND morally wrong. Read on . . .
I have represented literally THOUSANDS of DUI cases in this State. I have represented at least one DUI case in every district court in Oklahoma. Many were, without doubt, guilty (including most of those we were, later, able to convince the jury that they WEREN’T!). In another large percentage of them, the DA had enough evidence to prove them guilty. But, in a small percentage, they were simply falsely accused; not guilty of the crime for which they were charged. Oh, to be sure, all the evidence assembled and sent by the arresting agency and officer(s) to the DA sounded like a drunk driver. But, most of the time in those cases, the TRUTH of this evidence was really nothing more than the officers writing up reports in a manner to justify their arrest; nothing more.
I have seen this repeatedly in my career. A couple of examples recently occurred in my office.
A young man who hired me insisted that he was NOT drunk or affected by any drug when he was arrested for DUI after his accident. This is something that I hear VERY often from clients, and most of the time, it is incorrect. I reviewed the government’s evidence and sure enough: it described a very intoxicated driver in that car wreck. But his case was different. He took the blood test at the time of the arrest. Thank God. We then had his test independently re-analyzed. When both test results came back, guess what?? There was NOTHING in his bloodstream. Absolutely nothing. He was as sober (who knows, maybe MORE so) as the cop who improperly arrested him. The prosecutor outright dismissed the DUI without any further costs.
The moral(s) of this example?
– Not everything the officer writes in his report is true
– Do not follow the advice of those lawyers who know little about DUI that tell you to REFUSE all chemical tests but, instead ALWAYS take the test the cop requests and THEN demand a blood test, and
– Just because someone is arrested does NOT mean they are guilty.
Another one: A young mother of 2 was arrested for DUI. This was NOT her first DUI charge in that same court house. She too had had a car wreck. She too insisted that she was NOT drunk. And, too – you knew it was coming – the officer’s report FULLY supported his claims that she was too impaired to drive and the wreck was caused by her intoxication. You know: slurred speech, difficulty standing, the standard litany of stuff. We got a copy of the arrest video. We filed several motions and argued them to the judge in that court. During one of these motions, that video was shown to this judge. This video showed a frightened young woman. It did NOT show any thing else the copy claimed. The judge – to no one’s surprise, denied my motion – but the ADA backed off his conviction with some time to do offer and offered a deferred sentence (no conviction and no jail) if she pleaded no contest (no admission of guilt). Although I strongly suggested that we followed through with trial because I firmly believe she was falsely accused and the jury would see that , she accepted that offer of a no contest plea and the deferred sentence.
– Again, not everything the officer writes in his report is true
– Your attorney should ALWAYS try to find any video of you at the arrest, and
– Again, just because there is an arrest does NOT mean they are guilty.
So what does any of the above have to do with Lot in Genesis 18 and 19?? (You can read it HERE if you don’t remember it from Sunday School). When you read or hear about someone arrested for DUI (AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU EVER END UP ON A JURY FOR A DUI CASE!), remember the story of Lot. Don’t rain fire and brimstone down on ALL of them until you know whether there are ANY “righteous persons” in the group. Odds are that there is at least ONE that is “righteous”. Find him and get him out of the path of the punishment before the fire and brimstone is levied.
Charles L. Sifers
Attorney at Law
401 N. Hudson, 2nd floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
office – 405-232-3388
fax – 405-232-5144
Oklahoma‘s First Attorney Board Certified in DUI Defense by National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) under American Bar Association (ABA) Guidelines
Best Lawyers in America in DUI/DWI Defense Specialty, 2010 thru 2016 ed(s).
Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2015
Oklahoma‘s First Regent (retired) for the National College for DUI Defense
“The People should NOT be afraid of the Government. The Government should be afraid of the People“.