She charged with DWI, but wasn’t guilty of it.
Here’s how I proved her innocence and saved her from a criminal conviction.
The State Checked for Drugs, But Didn’t Assess Her Injuries
When the police officer responding to the accident questioned her, Karen “had a hard time providing the officer with basic information such as her name and address.” She “appeared confused” and fumbled for her driver’s license. She also said that she thought she had run the red light.
Based on his “training and experience,” the officer determined that she was likely impaired. This suspicion was confirmed when Karen “admitted to having taken a narcotic used for pain, as well as other medications.”
Her husband later took her to the hospital where she was treated for a severe concussion.
The officer got a warrant for a blood draw and took Karen to the hospital where, rather than assess her for injuries, the hospital personnel took a sample of her blood for prosecution.
Her husband later took her to the hospital where she was treated for a severe concussion, which, of course, explained all of her “indicia of impairment.”
I Force the State to Test and Retest the Blood, Properly
Karen was charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, which she admitted was likely true, but she was troubled that she had taken this dosage of Tramadol for years without incident.
It turns out that Tramadol is a Schedule IV drug, which means, in short, that it is unlikely to lead to impairment or addiction if taken as prescribed. The officer did not know that, nor, frankly, did Karen.
Karen had taken this dosage of Tramadol for years without incident. I asked whether it was an amount that could be related to impairment, and the prosecutor didn’t know.
The prosecutor was convinced he had taken a dangerous person off the streets and was determined to get his punishment. He sent the blood to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Crime Lab where a test showed the presence of Tramadol! No surprise. I asked whether it was an amount that could be related to impairment, and he didn’t know.
So, he sent it to another lab (at taxpayer cost, of course) where they determined that the blood contained 88 ng of Tramadol metabolite per liter of blood.
That information meant as much to the prosecutor as it does to me or you. But he Googled it and determined that the blood concentration was consistent with the non-impairing therapeutic dose.
I Convince the State to Drop All Criminal Charges
After I convinced him that he would lose at trial, the prosecutor dropped the charges. But it took me eight months and, therefore, cost Karen thousands of dollars to, effectively, prove her innocence.