The denial of a DMV hearing appeal could lead to legal recognition of circumstantial
evidence in DUI cases and expert testimony in future administrative hearings.
An Orange County woman who agreed to a plea deal to admit to misdemeanor
reckless driving attempted to challenge her driver's license suspension
at a DMV hearing. The woman hired an expert who argued that her blood
alcohol level was under the legal limit when she was stopped and arrested
but rose later while she was in police custody.
The defendant had been arrested in 2011 when police observed her swerving
on the freeway and suspected she was intoxicated based on observing her
red eyes, the scent of alcohol coming from her car, and her difficulty
in performing field sobriety tests.
The DMV hearing officer rejected the expert's testimony, saying the
police officer's suspicions were valid. The California Supreme Court
agreed although they noted that the opinion of the expert should not have
been thrown out but considered.
The defendant's attorney, Chad Maddox, remarked that the case did set
some guidelines as far as future DUI defense cases which take circumstantial
evidence is considered and chemical test are inconclusive. Attorney Maddox
did express fear that "the ruling, however, could grant greater weight
to circumstantial evidence such as a heavy odor of alcohol."
A DUI arrest can ruin your life so retain a dedicated Orange County criminal
defense attorney to contest your charges and build you a redoubtable defense.
Call Attorney Jacqueline Goodman today!