A year ago our firm began the defense of an individual charged with Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense in Bay City, Michigan.
He was innocent. He had not been operating the vehicle.
The actual driver (and owner of the car) had fled on foot immediately after the accident. Our client had stayed, knowing that it was a crime to leave the scene of an accident. What did he get for abiding by the law? Charged with OWI 3rd.
The prosecution’s whole case was premised on the fact that the person who had been rear-ended, upon exiting her vehicle, only saw our client existing the vehicle (due to the fact that the actual driver had immediately fled the scene.) Our client attempted to explain to police that he was not driving and that his friend had fled on foot – but the police didn’t believe him – most likely because he has two past OWI convictions. Ultimately, he was charged. Yet, he was innocent.
We got involved and immediately set out to prove that our client was not the driver. We talked to witnesses, we talked to the actual driver, we talked to friends of the actual driver, we talked to co-workers of the actual driver. We elicited statements from all of these people consistent with our claim that our client wasn’t the driver of the vehicle. We sent subpoenas to the actual driver’s cell phone company, so that we could prove that he was at least in the area. We had our client take a polygraph – which he passed. Finally, we convinced the actual driver to take a state polygraph.
It took a lot of hard work, but we eventually convinced the prosecutor’s office that our client was not the driver of the vehicle and last week we received the order of dismissal.
Victory is sweet. A dismissal is sweeter.