A New Jersey attorney is in trouble after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and negligent driving while doing business in the Virgin Islands. Though his arrest and criminal charges aren’t dictated by New Jersey law it is his defense that is of particular interest. The man has said that his shoe had gotten stuck under the gas pedal, which eventually caused him to accelerate and crash his car. If this had happened in Bergen County and his defense could throw enough doubt on his case, it would be impossible to convict him of DUI.
According to two bystanders, the attorney was driving along when his car spun out of control and hit the vehicle that they were under and attempting to repair. Fortunately, neither of the men was seriously injured. They actually gave chase when the attorney’s vehicle continued down the road before eventually coming to a stop.
In New Jersey, to be convicted of DUI, prosecutors must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver had been drinking and that the alcohol in his or her system negatively affected his or her driving. If they cannot, the defendant must be acquitted.
What this also means, however, is that if the defendant has a defense, such as this one, he or she could raise enough doubt that a jury or a judge would be unable to convict him or her.
Although the attorney has only had his initial hearing, it is certainly possible that he could be acquitted. All that he really needs to do is to provide some credible evidence that his shoe was stuck.
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, “N.J. attorney facing drunk driving charges says his shoes caused St. Croix accident,” Fiona Stokes, Feb. 28, 2014