Attorney Joshua Shelton writes on www.jdsupra.com – Jameson was in a single-car accident on May 25 which left her truck smashed in the front, with a broken axle. Police responded to the scene and administered sobriety tests. Sure enough, Jameson blew a .13 and was found to have the prescription drugs Ambien and Suboxone in her body. Naturally, she was arrested on the spot and faces DUI charges carrying the possibility of a year in prison.
It looks bad for the adult film star. However, all is not lost. Even when the evidence piles up against you, people charged with DUI can still fight to get their charges thrown out or reduced with the help of a good attorney.
There are a number of ways to challenge DUI charges even when the odds are against you. In Jameson’s case, one thing she has going for her is that officers apparently didn’t witness any erratic driving or see what caused the accident.
“One element that law enforcement generally uses during their DUI investigation is the driving behavior of a suspect before they are pulled over,” says Joshua Shelton, an attorney at the California firm Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor, which deals exclusively in DUI defense. “In the instant instance with Ms. Jameson, law enforcement will not have this valuable evidence, and the prosecutor will not have the ability to establish that Ms. Jameson was unable to operate her vehicle with the same care and control of a sober driver – absent the accident of course.”
Like many interactions with police, a suspect’s smartest move when being questioned about a driving accident is to keep quiet until you can get a lawyer on your side. In fact, if the police don’t remind you that you have the right to remain silent and to consult with an attorney, that can be used to bolster your case in court and possibly get some of the evidence against you thrown out.
If you keep your mouth shut, the cops might not even be able to prove that you were driving the car if they come upon a crash after the fact. “If law enforcement does not actually witness you operating a vehicle, they will have to rely on the evidence at the scene, as well as your own statements, to decipher who was driving the vehicle,” Shelton explains. “If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, DO NOT answer any questions posed by law enforcement prior to consulting an attorney.”
Of course, an elevated blood alcohol content and evidence of prescription medication in the system is going to be harder to explain in front of a judge. Jameson’s .13 and the meds could be her downfall.
“The sad truth in these type of scenarios is that you most likely will be arrested if you have traces of alcohol/drugs in your system and have been involved in an accident,” says Shelton. “However, you control how much evidence law enforcement has to prosecute you with by opting not to answer any questions related to the accident or your consumption of alcohol.”
Additionally, even with incriminating readings it is still possible to challenge the accuracy of the tests, or the manner in which they were administered.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can haunt you for years to come, and lead to big fines, confiscation of your license, higher insurance rates and even jail time. If you find yourself in a bad spot, don’t try to stand on your own– an experienced attorney can help you analyze your options and limit the damage.