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 From an emotional standpoint, a case where someone is accused driving under the influence and killing another person is one of the toughest.  With the victim, you usually have someone who did not deserve to die.  They are often young, in the prime of their lives.  They are usually also close to the driver.  The victim is often a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or sibling of the accused.  Unfortunately, that person is not available to express forgiveness to the driver.
 
As for the driver, you often have a person who has never been in trouble in his life.  He may be college educated, have a great job, and a loving family.  But for this horrible incident he would have continued to be an upstanding citizen.
 
Recently, a San Jose woman pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing a 79 year old grandmother.  She is waiting to be sentenced by a Santa Clara County judge.  Her maximum possible sentence is 12 years in the state prison.  In fact, the judge is precluded from granting this woman probation unless he finds “unusual circumstances” where the interests of justice require it.  According to statements, the family of the victim has forgiven the defendant, and believes that the victim would forgive her as well.  Unfortunately, California DUI sentencing law provides somewhat less opportunity for the Court to forgive her. 

As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that, regardless of the outcome, nobody wins in these cases.  Regardless of what side you are on there is nothing but tragedy in these cases.  An innocent victim loses her life, and a contrite survivor is cast into the hell of the California prison system.  

11/17/2008
Bob Battle- Richmond Area
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I asked Bob Keefer, a Harrisonburg, Virginia DUI lawyer to comment on the cheating by some Ohio State Troopers on their breath operator's license recertification. Was this a big deal or was the press making too much of a Trooper stealing the test answers, distributing the answers to others, in the presence of patrol sergeants who did nothing and getting caught in part because he missed simple questions. Here is what Keefer said:

Over a million Americans are charged with drunk driving every year. For most of them, this is the most serious criminal charge they will ever face in their lives. Most people charged with DUI have no previous criminal record whatsoever.

DUI charges now carry significant direct and indirect consequences. For example, many states require mandatory jail, mandatory loss of license, mandatory ignition interlock and mandatory alcohol education.

Automobile insurance rates are very high to insure convicted drunk drivers if the company will insure the convicted drunk driver at all. Some countries, like Canada, may even deny the convicted drunk driver admission into the country. Some health insurance providers will not insure the convicted driver. Some life insurance companies will not write policies for convicted drivers. Many businesses will terminate or not hire the convicted drunk driver. A DUI or DWI conviction may sink your security clearance if you need one for employment.

Being a convicted drunk driver is seen as a character flaw at the bare minimum.

In that light, we would expect that law enforcement officers would take their jobs seriously and learn how to properly test a subject’s blood alcohol level. In Ohio, in order to administer the breath test equipment the operator must have a permit. This permit must be renewed every year by passing an examination.

You would figure this exam to be pretty easy for Ohio State Police Officers who give these tests all year round. But that must not be the case since six troopers had to resort to cheating to pass. Moreover, five patrol sergeants knew about the cheating but did not stop it. Apparently they were not concerned about how well the cheaters could test the citizens.

Apparently, one trooper stole the test answer sheet and gave it to other troopers. Three sergeants were present in the room when Trooper Maroon distributed copies of the answer sheet to other test takers. Two other sergeants got the answers from Maroon before they took their test.

Maroon only missed two answers on his test; answers any senior operator ought to get right. All of the cheaters missed the same two answers; the same two answers that were wrong on the cheat sheet. And this was a pass/ fail test. When the investigation began, at least one Trooper was “less than truthful”.

Who is watching the watchers? How many other troopers have cheated over the years? How many innocent citizens have been denied justice because the test operator was a cheater and did not know how to do his job properly? If a trooper would cheat on a test would he lie to convict a citizen? Will the person testing you be a cheater?

Read full report below:

http://content.clearchannel.com/cc-common/mlib/1279/07/1279_1216238914.pdf

 

About Bob Keefer: Bob Keefer is an attorney in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He represents persons charged with DUI, reckless driving, speeding tickets and traffic tickets. He represents people charged with those offenses in Harrisonburg, Virginia; Rockingham County, Virginia; Staunton, Virginia; Augusta County, Virginia; Waynesboro, Virginia; Woodstock, Virginia; Shenandoah County, Virginia; Page County, Virginia; Luray, Virginia; Shenandoah Valley, Virginia; Bridgewater, Virginia; Dayton, Virginia; Verona, Virginia; Broadway, Virginia; Timberville, Virginia; Interstate 81.



Category: Keyword Search: Harrisonburg Virginia DUI Lawyer,

11/17/2008
Bob Battle- Richmond Area
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What do they do with the cars?  Well first they drive them and then they buy them for ridiculiously low prices.

In St. Louis, Missouri,like in many municipalities, the powers that be have legislatively enabled law enforcement to seize cars of persons suspected of DUI.  If the vehicle is not recovered within a certain time by its true owner then law enforcement and their family members can purchase the seized vehicle at a cheap price, sometimes at 25% of the real value.

The city and the tow service split the loot from the towing.  The "abandoned" cars become no cost rental cars to be driven for months without cost.  In St. Louis, Aimie Mokwa, 33 years old, the daughter of Joe Mokwa, police chief, has helped herself to several cars on the cheap.  Actually, it is a good thing the cars are so cheap as she has wrecked a Dodge Neon and a Ford Escort.  She had a .17 blood alcohol content when she wrecked the Escort but somehow was not charged with DUI.  Sounds fair to all concerned.



Category: Keyword Search: Harrisonburg Virginia DUI Lawyer,

11/17/2008
Bob Battle- Richmond Area
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Harris County Texas Sheriff's Deputy Craig Miller was killed in an unfortunate motor vehicle collision on February 21, 2008.

Deputy Miller was on his way to relieve another Deputy conducting surveillance on a suspected criminal activity.

Jose Vieyra, driving a box truck, pulled out onto Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas, in front of Deputy Miller.

Deputy Miller did not attempt to brake as there were no skid marks in his lane; Miller passed away at the scene.

Vieyra was charged with criminally negligent homicide.


Now the Rest of the Story:

- Deputy Miller was not wearing his seat belt,

- Deputy Miller had a .27 blood-alcohol content,

- Vieyra had a valid driver's license at the time of the accident,

- Vieyra had no criminal record,

- Initially Sheriff's Dept. indicated that the .27 would not effect Vieyra's charge,

- Charges against Vieyra, in light of Deputy Miller's .27 bac,were dismissed,

- Vieyra may be deported as his papers had expired.


Harris County is known for its surveillance efforts:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1V74ZjZ74o



Thanks to Harrisonburg DWI Lawyer Bob Keefer, www.BobKeeferLaw.com, for providing us with this information.



Category: Keyword Search: Harrisonburg Virginia DUI Lawyer,

11/17/2008
Bob Battle- Richmond Area
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Sheriff Tommy Thomas has been accused of being racist due to some emails that were discovered.
You decide for yourself:  http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/feature?section=news/13_undercover&id=6231156
As you may remember from other blogs, the Harris County Texas Sheriff has been criticized and sued.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxf67bhoVVg

Thanks to Harrisonburg Virginia DWI Attorney Bob Keefer, www.BobKeeferLaw.com, for keeping me informed of this apparent abuse of police power.



Category: Keyword Search: Harrisonburg Virginia DUI Lawyer,