When Washingtonians get in the car, they take for granted that they will make it to their destination safely. But that belief assumes the drivers whom they share the road with will cooperate. That cooperation is not guaranteed.
Take, for example, a recent car accident in Plaza, Washington, about a 30-minute drive from Spokane. The accident took place when a driver crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car. Two people were hospitalized, including the driver who allegedly crossed the center line. Reports did not immediately indicate the seriousness of the injuries.
Authorities have charged the driver who allegedly veered into oncoming traffic with driving drunk and felony vehicular assault.
This is not the driver's first time facing these types of charges. Following a fatal accident in 2005, authorities charged the driver with driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. A jury, however, found the driver innocent of those charges, which shows that even very serious criminal charges can be overcome. Clearly, just because Washington authorities charge someone with a crimes does not mean that the person is guilty of the charge or committed the crime in question. That is important because a conviction can carry serious consequences, including steep fines and jail time.
Fortunately, Washingtonians do not have to go it alone when accused of committing a crime. They are constitutionally guaranteed the right to counsel. That right can make a big difference in the final outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can identify weaknesses in the government's cases, including errors in police procedure or violations of constitutional protections. These weaknesses can lead to evidence getting thrown out, which, in turn, can result in penalties being reduced or even charges being dismissed.
Source: KLEWTV, "DUI crash near Spokane caused by Clarkston woman crossing the center line," Veronica Miracle, Jan. 13, 2014