Thursday, June 9, 2011

Case Study - Oregon DUII

I tried a case recently in Wash. Co. that I felt would be pretty difficult to win. According to the officer, he failed all the field sobriety tests. For example, he shuffled his feet while balancing on 1 leg and ended up 7 feet away from where he started.  The jury was out for an hour and came back “not guilty.” The officer did the typical exaggeration on driving and field sobriety tests but I felt a couple things really turned the jury around. In the officer’s 7 page report regarding my client, he used the wrong name on 1 or 2 occasions. I learned in the DMV hearing that he simply does a “cut and paste” (as I called it) on the computer and forgot to change the name. I pointed out that the remainder of his report could contain the same errors. That argument was supported by the fact that he testified that my client held his foot up on the “1 leg stand” for 12 seconds, rather than 30 seconds as required. However, at the DMV hearing, he testified that my client held his leg up for 28 seconds.  The jury felt exaggerations like these undermine the credibility of the officer and acquitted my client.

Gig Wyatt
Harris, Wyatt, Amala, LLC.
5778 Commercial St. SE
Salem, OR 97306
503-378-7744