Serious Injury Felony Dropped for Accused DUI Offender with a Prior DUI Conviction and a 0.164 Blood Test in the Current Case

William C. Head

Case Conclusion Date:March 14, 2008

Practice Area:Criminal Defense

Outcome:Case Reduced to Three Misdemeanors from Felony

Description:Mr. Head was recommended by P.P.'s family attorney when P.P. was involved in a collision in 2006 one of with two vehicles that had collided minutes earlier. A passenger from the vehicle that caused the collision was trying to assist the female driver of the overturned vehicle when P.P. hit the underside of the disabled vehicle, The incident occurred on Peachtree Parkway in Gwinnett County. The serious injury of the "Good Samaritan" caused the misdemeanor prosecutor to transfer the case to the District Attorney for felony prosecution for "serious injury by vehicle" by virtue of P.P. allegedly being DUI-alcohol. This changed the case from a misdemanor-level DUI (second lifetime offense) to a felony that had a 15 year maximum sentence in State prison. Mr. Head filed numerous challenges to the admissibility of the evidence against P.P., primarily challenging the procedure by which P.P. was forced to have bood drawn when he had adamantly refused to be tested. P.P. also refused to submit to any roadside (field sobriety) evaluations or a hand-held alcohol sensor test following the collision. As the case neared trial, Mr. Head began negotiating with the Assistant District Attorney handling this case. The problems with the forcible collection of P.P.'s blood concerned her, and a negotiated plea was finally negotiated. As part of Mr. Head's negotiations, the felony charge was dropped. P.P. was permitted to enter a guilty plea to three misdemeanor charges (DUI, reckless driving and too fast for conditions). This meant 36 months of probation and a short county detention term, but this was a "win" for P.P. The judge his case was assigned to was notorious for rendering harsh sentences in such cases, and a 7 to 10 year prison term was realistic for this case. If P.P. had been sentenced as a felon, his driving privileges would have been totally gone. As a result of this negotiated settlement, he was able to continue driving. Since he was a sole proprietor (auto mechanic) he could not risk a conviction for a felony.

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