Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Not guilty verdict in New York DWI case

New York traffic laws are designed to keep all people on the streets of New York safe. This includes motorists, passengers and pedestrians. Concerns about the dangers of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a drug are legitimate as these situations can result in serious injury. However, it is also important for people and law enforcement to remember that not all defendants are actually guilty and they should be treated appropriately.

The daughter of a former United States Senator was recently on trial for a DWI arrest in July of 2012. The woman claimed her innocence by alleging that she inadvertently took the wrong prescription medication one morning. The drug that she took was a sleeping pill but she did not know that is what she took until she had passed out and drove her SUV Lexus into a tractor-trailer. She was awoken by a police officer rapping at her window.

After four days of testimony and just over an hour of deliberation, a New York jury returned a not guilty verdict for the woman. She could have been sentenced to as much as one year in jail if the jury had found her guilty of the DWI offense. During her trial, she admitted to swerving and falling asleep but insisted that her actions were the result of a true mistake.

Cases like this one illustrate the importance of the legal process after an arrest. Anyone who faces a potential drunk driving, DUI, DWAI or DWI conviction may well be able to get help by seeking a private defense attorney.

Source: CNN, “Kerry Kennedy acquitted in DWI trial,” Lena Jakobsson and Ray Sanchez, February 28, 2014

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