Friday, January 18, 2013

Truth at Trial = Not Guilty

A one day jury trial in Polk County resulted in a Not Guilty verdict in a .11% DUII case.  The police received information that the defendant had been involved in a verbal altercation at a house, and that he drove away while intoxicated.  

Officers responded to the defendant’s house approximately 10 minutes after the original call, where the defendant admitted drinking 8 beers throughout the day.  His performance on field sobriety tests was poor, and the defendant expressly denied drinking alcohol since he had been home.  A breath test at 12:30 am resulted in a .11% BAC. 

On the surface, the case looked like an easy conviction for the prosecution.   At trial, the witness who called the police admitted that she just “assumed” that the defendant was intoxicated, and had no evidence to support her claim.  Mr. Snow artfully managed the defendant’s testimony, where he testified that he consumed a substantial quantity of hard liquor during the 5 minutes prior to police arriving. 

Since he wasn’t truthful with the officers the night of arrest, witness credibility was critical.  Mr. Snow convinced the jury that the defendant was truthful at trial, and that he consumed the liquor in the short amount of time prior to the police arriving.  The use of an excellent expert witness helped explain the BAC of .11%, and Mr. Snow’s closing argument was skillful and compelling.  After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty. 

Randall W. Snow
(pictured above right)
As an associate at Harris, Wyatt & Amala, LLC, attorney Randall Snow concentrates his practice in the areas of criminal defense, driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), personal injury, driver license suspension, expungement, and traffic violations.

NOTICE: The purpose of this blog is to provide basic and general information about Criminal Defense laws in Oregon. This publication should not be interpreted as legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.