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DUI crash defendant bets on prosecution's weak testimony

A man who used to work as a New Jersey police officer is now the target of the law himself. He was involved in a fatal DWI traffic accident that led to the death of two motorcyclists. He is charged with homicide by vehicle while drunk, vehicular manslaughter and more.

Based on some of the supposed evidence that the prosecution believes it has against the defendant, some might think that agreeing to a recent plea deal would have been wise. The defendant and his criminal defense attorney, however, see holes in the prosecution's planned argument.

The defendant has rejected a plea deal that would have meant at the most a prison sentence of six years. He believes that he might have a better chance at a less harsh fate by going through with the DUI homicide trial due to a doctor's testimony that the prosecution's argument depends on.

According to The Morning Call, the prosecution has a doctor who will testify to the idea that the defendant's specific health condition made him more likely to be extremely intoxicated at the time of the fatal accident. The defendant has had bariatric (weight loss) surgery, and the doctor's theory is that the condition would have led to intoxication more quickly for the defendant.

Not only does the defense argue that such a theory hasn't been widely agreed upon; they also say that those who witnessed the defendant before the accident didn't notice that he was visibly drunk. With these arguments supposedly on his side, the defendant will roll the dice and move forward with a jury trial.

A plea deal isn't always a bad thing. In some cases, accepting a plea deal can be the right step for a defendant. The decision to either accept or reject a deal is best made by consulting with one's trusted criminal defense attorney.

Source: The Morning Call, "Former cop rejects plea bargain in fatal Bangor motorcycle crash," Riley Yates, Nov. 16, 2012

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