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Case Conclusion Date: 05.12.2015
Practice Area: Criminal defense
Outcome: Dismissed DUI, Reduced Remaining Charges
Description: Client charged with Driving While Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUI) under RCW 46.61.502 and Hit & Run Attended under RCW 46.52.020. Both crimes are gross misdemeanors punishable up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine each. Finally, Prosecutor charged Driving With Wheels Off Roadway under RCW 46.61.670. This is a traffic infraction which negatively increases car insurance rates. Police reports alleged the defendant drove his vehicle while intoxicated, crashed it and fled the scene. Police located him at his home injured, disheveled and under the influence of intoxicants. He made incriminating statements against his best interests. Despite the challenges, Mr. Ransom drafted pretrial motions to suppress the evidence and dismiss the case under the theory of corpus delicti. This defense theory holds that the State needs independent evidence beyond a defendant's own statements to prosecute them for crimes. Here, the State lacked witnesses linking Mr. Ransom'c client to the crashed vehicle. In short, Mr. Ransom argued the Prosecutor had no evidence supporting the notion that his client operated a motor vehicle while under the influence. Instead of arguing the motion, the Prosecutor offered to dismiss the DUI, reduce the H&R to "Unattended" and reduce the traffic infraction to the non-moving violation of Expired Tabs under RCW 46.16A.030. Mr. Ransom further negotiated no jail, a $250 fine, no alcohol evaluations and 8 hours of community service. Along with avoiding an alcohol-related driving charge, these reductions also avoided increased car insurance rates. Client was satisfied with the outcome and happy he avoided a risky jury trial.