My client was described as uninjured following a serious crash and rollover accident. According to police and witnesses, my client was falling down drunk but not injured from the crash. After a full-blown jury trial, the jury returned a very fast "NOT GUILTY" verdict on all counts. I could not be happier for my client, who went through hell on this case.
After the rollover, my client was rushed to the hospital in her "uninjured" state, where she was in a coma for 14 hours, ICU for 9 days, and 4 months of rehabilitation working on her memory and basic skills. My client almost died. Clearly, the police failed to detect a serious head injury, which was life-threatening. There was no chemical test and no field sobriety tests. I argued that she had consumed alcohol but she wasn't intoxicated. To the contrary, all of the horrible things that everyone said about my client were signs of major head trauma.
Two men were present when the accident occurred, and a third witness--an unlicensed nurse--arrived shortly after the crash. My client had taken out a long stretch of guardrail, rolling her car completely over. The nurse remained on the scene while the two men quickly left. We have no idea why the two men fled the scene, but I assume that they might have had something to do with the accident.
The unlicensed nurse was a nightmare. She testified that my client was highly intoxicated, told her not to call the police, and repeatedly said she was fine. 911 callers are always the worst witnesses because they have a personal axe to grind. They want to see their opinions validated by a jury, and they will never admit that they might have been wrong.
The unlicensed nurse testified that my client needed to be rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, which was absolutely not true. This person was a very strange witness. She had performed her internship working with alcoholics in a detox facility, so she was tainted by those experiences. But, strangely, she left the nursing field completely within the year and is selling real estate, claiming that there was no market for registered nurses. RNs make a very good salary nowadays, and they are in high demand. I can't imagine what drove her away from nursing, given that it's both a challenging as well as rewarding career, and she must have gone through many years of schooling to reach the point where she walked away. That said, however, she was determined to get my client convicted.
A police officer for Huron Township testified that he could spot a drunk, and he was sure that my client was drunk. This guy had no training whatsoever, and he testified to anything and whatever in an attempt to get a conviction. Had my client been able to afford an expert witness, this inexperienced and untrained officer would have been put to shame. (Since I am being so critical of this guy, let me make this clear: I have offered to train the Huron Township officers for free. I have completed the basic SFST coursework as well as the Instructor course, and I would be willing to do this free of charge. One officer, who shall remain nameless, has suggested it, but the powers that be do not want me make their officers better at detecting drunk drivers. The offer remains open.)
The officer in charge was Huron Township Officer Hickman. Other witnesses testified, but Officer Hickman made the difference. He was honest, and he admitted that the government's case had weaknesses. He was the only highly trained officer to take the stand. He admitted that his training materials covered head injuries, explaining how head trauma can mimic signs of intoxication from the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course that I used to cross-examine him. This was an awesome cross-examination, where the officer and I both agreed on various concepts. He was honest and forthright, and the testimony that he provided was on par with the testimony that I would have presented through a police expert witness. All you can ask for in these cases is honesty, and I give huge kudos to this officer for being brave enough to admit the ARIDE materials, which directly contradicted the prosecutor's theory of the case.