Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Lawyer's View: Types of DWI "Innocence"

This blog post was inspired from a magazine article I recently read in a Criminal Defense Lawyers piece on innocence. The author had stated that he believed there were six stages or types of innocence, ranging from absolutely didn't do it, to justified for doing it, to didn't do all of it, or some of it, or based upon the definition of "it" didn't do it. I in my DWI mindset believe that DWIs have three main types of innocence.

1. I drank alcohol/consumed drugs BUT I was neither impaired (affected to any extent) nor intoxicated (incapable of safe/normal/prudent driving);

2. I drank alcohol/consumed drugs BUT I was not intoxicated but merely impaired;

3. I drank alcohol/consumed drugs BUT the test results are not accurate/truthful based upon my known consumption and use.

THE REFUSAL CASE: In refusal cases, it is largely a matter of "degree" between the lines of impairment and intoxication, in other words to what degree do we have affects to a person, if any. Can these affects/behaviors be "solely" attributed to the use/abuse/consumption of drugs and/or alcohol?

THE "PER SE" CASE: Based upon a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) either direct from a blood sample or indirect from a breath sample is this number/result to be trusted/believed/relied upon? In the context of behavior/driving is it consistent?

So these are the things I think on when I question/challenge legal guilt or legal innocence.