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Person Falsely Accused of DUI Found Not Guilty

In Prince William County, Virginia, the Commonwealth’s Attorney refused to drop a DUI charge against DUI attorney Jonathan Oates’ client even though the client was never driving the car.  Oates refused to accept any sort of offer for his innocent client, and took the case to trial.  

Oates’ client was a passenger in a car being driven by someone else.  The car smashed into the back of another vehicle, totally destroying both cars.  Once police arrived on the scene, Oates’ client told police that his friend had been driving.  The driver even admitted that he was driving.  But the accident happened in front of the home of an off-duty police officer, who claimed to Oates’ client get out of the driver’s seat and switch to the passenger seat.

At trial, Oates challenged the off-duty officer’s ability to see exactly what happened.  He stated that it was late at night, raining, and that his home was approximately 60-70 yards away from the accident.  The officer also stated that he did not actually see that accident, only came outside immediately after hearing the accident and saw the occupants supposedly changing seats.  The officer was adamant that Oates’ client had been in the driver’s seat.

Fighting the case, Oates called the other occupant in the car to the stand.  He testified that he had been the driver, and showed photos of burns on his hands from the airbag that only could have come from being in the driver’s seat.  

Despite the off-duty officer’s consistent testimony, the Judge found the evidence Oates presented to be compelling and found his client completely not guilty of the DUI.  

After the trial, Oates said:

“I am proud to fight for my innocent client and glad the court system worked today.  My client was completely innocent of these charges.  The court listened to the witnesses, saw the evidence, and rightly found that my client could not have been the DUI driver.  I am happy that the judge made the right decision and that my client was not wrongfully convicted.”