DUI defense is never far from my mind. I was reminded of this last weekend watching one of my favorite movies, “My Cousin Vinny.” In the movie a novice New York attorney (Joe Pesci) heads to the deep south to defend his cousin and his friend in a high-profile murder case. He is met with a hostile judge and a pompous attorney who are hell bent on seeing the two kids put away for murder. Comedy ensues.
In the course of the trial the prosecutor call George Wilbur (James Rebhorn) as an expert for the State. Vinny objects.
Vinny Gambini: I object to this witness being called at this time. We’ve been given no prior notice he’d testify. No discovery of any tests he’s conducted or reports he’s prepared. And as the court is aware, the defense is entitled to advance notice of any witness who will testify, particularly to those who will give scientific evidence, so that we can properly prepare for cross-examination, as well as to give the defense an opportunity to have the witness’s reports reviewed by a defense expert, who might then be in a position to contradict the veracity of his conclusions.
[there is a short pause as Judge Haller appears caught off-guard by Vinny’s sudden compentence with knowledge of the law]
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Mr. Gambini?
Vinny Gambini: Yes, sir?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection.
Vinny Gambini: Thank you, Your Honor.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: [firm tone] Overruled.
The State’s witness is the special automotive instructor of forensic studies for the FBI, who testified that the tire marks left at the scene of the crime match the tires of the vehicle driven by Vinny’s clients. He has all of the traditional indicia of credibility, an outstanding education and an authoritative command of the courtroom. The only problem with his testimony is that he is DEAD WRONG! In the movie the kids are saved by out of work hairdresser Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) whose real world expertise proves that the car did not match the tire tracks left at the scene.
In DUI defense we are often faced with forensic experts who are clothed in the traditional indicia of credibility. Defense attorneys also face a machine that the state of Ohio has exempted from scientific challenge. The only thing that our clients have going for them is us!
I take great pleasure in proving the machine and the State’s witnesses wrong. It is said that DUI is the most frequently mis-charged crime in the United States. When you can get a jury to see an error it is as dramatic as anything Hollywood can produce. It is a feeling that most attorneys, especially me, strive to have as much as humanly possible. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to deliver the opening statement that Vinny Gambini uses in the movie…
Vinny Gambini: [opening statements] Uh… everything that guy just said is bullshit… Thank you.
Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”
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