Allegedly, he was first arrested earlier this year for a DUI as well. Two DUI’s in one year is definitely some cause for concerns. The star has admitted to his wrongdoings and has blamed his behavior on his mother’s recent passing. Although, tragic events can take a toll on individuals, it is not an excuse to drive intoxicated. He could have injured himself as well as others. Following his arrest, he was taken to a hospital where he was later released for further treatment. Law enforcement officials also issued him a citation. This must have been a wake-up call for Stamos since he subsequently voluntarily checked himself into a rehabilitation facility. Following his release, he tweeted his fans to express his new found vitality stating, ”I feel better than I’ve felt in a decade.”
Stamos was arrested in California and is being prosecuted under California law, but in New Jersey a second DUI has a serious consequences, including
- 2 to 90 days in jail,
- 2 years loss of license,
- up to 30 days community service, the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device,
- high fines,
- mandatory attendance to the Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center (course on alcoholism with possible mandatory treatment),
- surcharge of $3000 over three years, and
- increase in insurance premiums
Few details of the circumstances of Stamos’ DUI are available, but it appears the police may have reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop. Here, is what I would recommend Stamos if he was facing charges in New Jersey:
- I would demand copy of the dispatch logs and the alleged 911 call which provided the basis for the stop.
- I would review the video of the stop to see if Stamos was driving erratically.
- Then we would focus on the field sobriety tests. Where the Walk and Turn, One Legged Stand, and HGN done properly? Meaning where the instructions and police demonstration according to NHTSA guidelines? Where the clues indicated in the police report match what can be seen on the video? Can an expert poke holes in the State’s case?
- What is Stamos’ medical condition? Are there symptoms that can match alcohol without him having anything to drink? Does his condition prevent him from successfully performing the field sobriety tests?
- Next I would focus on the State’s ability to prove a per se violation. Meaning how can the State prove the level of alcohol. That becomes less important in a second violation in New Jersey, since the consequences are the same as long as Stamos was drunk. However, if I can get the reading thrown out and his medical condition would prevent him from successfully performing the field sobriety tests, he may have a solid defense.
- Here, we don’t know if he gave a breath sample at the police station or a blood sample at the hospital. Either way, I would evaluate if the officer followed proper protocol, whether they were certified to perform the tests, whether any machine used was in proper working condition, and if the state preserved the evidence. A failure in any of these steps can lead to the State’s inability to prove the level of alcohol.
This is where I would start my investigation. Of course, this requires a thorough review of all the discovery. Once I have the discovery and Stamos’ medical records, the strategy may very well change. One thing is certain, in order to succeed here Stamos will need one or more experts. They may be a doctor, former police officer, or scientist depending on the circumstances.
Since Stamos is a U.S. citizen, at least he doesn’t need to worry what a DUI would do for his ability to become a U.S. citizen or achieve U.S. legal status.
If you, loved one, or friend are charged with a DUI/DWI you need to know your options before going to court.
- Arrested for Drunk Driving? Learn how to Beat the Odds – Want more defense strategies? How about some common mistakes to avoide? Learn what to expect before you go to court;
- Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket is NOT an Option – Here I discuss court process and different traffic violations, including DUI’s;
- An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court. Not a U.S. citizen? Are you concerned about immigration consequences? You should be. Learn what to expect in municipal court and immigratoi court.
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