September saw a couple of significant victories as Marcotte Law Firm is settling into its new locale.
Sean Kelly secured a not guilty verdict for a client charged with drunk driving after slamming into the rear of a car whose driver had stopped on a New Hampshire country road to turn left. The investigating officers determined that the client had failed field sobriety tests, and they admitted to consuming alcohol an hour earlier. The municipality did not use breathalyzers but opted for blood tests administered at a local hospital. The suspect declined, as they later would explain due to fear of COVID. Unlike Massachusetts, refusal to take the test can serve as evidence against the accused. The client testified that the accident occurred because they had gotten lost and was checking GPS. When they looked up, the vehicle ahead had stopped.
The collision, however, was substantial. Attorney Kelly not only questioned the officer’s conclusions on the field sobriety tests (first having mastered all the training and grading methodology taught to the police), but also argued that any deficiencies in her performance were equally explained by the severity of the collision. The prosecution could not show beyond a reasonable doubt that whatever symptoms might have been attributed to alcohol could as easily have been due to the collision. Ironically, our client might have been guilty of distracted driving, but was never charged with it. Happily, they have been extra cautious since.