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DWI case: The truth was far from what authorities contended

A news story out of Wisconsin has widespread relevance in Arkansas and throughout the country, and we summarize its material facts for our readers here.

The tale comes with an initial observation rendered necessary by what happened to an innocent young woman falsely accused of drunk driving and causing an accident, namely this: Every story has two sides, and sometimes -- especially when actors in the criminal justice system are not conducting themselves in good faith -- the truth gets obscured.

Given the penalties and stigma associated with criminal charges, along with the fundamentally important presumption of innocence that serves as a bedrock principle in the United States, that should never be allowed to happen. The role of an experienced criminal defense attorney is to guard against inequitable results and to work hard to ensure that every client facing a criminal charge has strong and zealous representation.

The truth finally emerged in the Wisconsin case after many months of frustration experienced by a woman who was struck by a police car and badly injured. In the wake of that crash, she was arrested on multiple criminal counts, including drunk driving causing injury.

She was also tested for alcohol and drugs. Both tests came back negative. As a media account notes, “it was clear [she] had been stone cold sober.”

Luckily, a video camera taped the crash. It belied the police officer’s assertion that he had stopped prior to the accident. In truth, he did not and struck the woman. Ten months after the crash, he admitted fault.

For understandable reasons, the criminal charges against the woman were ultimately dismissed. She is seeking compensation for her medical expenses, though, and has sued the arresting officer.

A DWI charge is obviously a serious matter. Strong and knowledgeable advocacy from a proven drunk driving defense attorney can often make a material difference in the outcome of a case.

Source: KTLA 5, "Sober woman arrested for drunk driving when deputy crashes into her car," CNN wire, May 3, 2014

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