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New Ruling Makes Circumstantial Evidence in DUI Cases Permissible

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! (866) 294-8952

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