I am sorry that you must deal with the consequences of your daughter's bad judgment. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to handle this. Many people charged with DWI later claim they were not driving, once they find out how serious a DWI can be. The police know this and are very skeptical of these changes in story. Your daughter needs an experienced DWI lawyer right away. Hiring a lawyer immediately allows the lawyer to gather witness statements and other evidence before that information is forgotten or lost.
Wayne R. Foote, Esq.
Board Certified OUI Defense Law Specialist
by the National College for DUI Defense, Inc.
Law Offices of Wayne R. Foote, PA
344 Mt. Hope Ave
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 990-5858 (fax)
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." M. L. King, Jr.
DISCLAIMER- THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. CONSULT QUALIFIED LEGAL COUNSEL IN YOUR CITY OR STATE FOR IMMEDIATE LEGAL ADVICE.
Unless the actual driver is willing to step up and perhaps get arrested, your daughter will have a hard time proving that she was not driving. I suggest you retain a good criminal defense attorney ASAP who handles DWI cases to do an investigation. Perhaps the people in the car will give statements... perhaps there were surveillance cameras on the route the car travelled prior to the stop that might show the driver. This has to be done ASAP before any tapes are recycled.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Depending on ALL of the facts and circumstances it may or may not be difficult for your daughter to establish whether or not she was driving. What does the police officer claim s/he actually saw? What will the other occupants of the vehicle say if they are called to testify etc. there are numerous issues presented and the best advice you can get here is for you to get your daughter a good criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Obviously the best way to make this right is for the actual driver to come forward and admit they were in fact driving. Short of that, she will need to gather as much evidence as possible to corroborate that she was not the driver. I would even suggest hiring a private investigator to help in the collection of witness statements and possible video surveillance footage to back up her version of events.
I am a former Deputy Bureau Chief with the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office who has been specializing in criminal law for over 15 years.
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