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DUI charge dropped due to evidence discrepancy

An evidence discrepancy in a DUI case has allowed a South Carolina man to plead to a lesser charge. The man, a state representative, was charged with DUI when he was stopped on Interstate 77 in October 2012 as he was reportedly on his way home from a South Carolina football game. During the stop, the man allegedly admitted to officers that he had been drinking alcohol.

His license was automatically suspended for six months because he had refused to take a breath test. In February, a judicial panel reinstated his license. The charges were reduced after it was discovered that the date on his ticket was different from the date on the video surveillance recording from the deputy's patrol car. The man was allowed to plead to the lesser charge of reckless driving. As a result of the discrepancy between the dates, the evidence would not hold up in court. He was ordered to pay a fine of $475. According to court documents, he signed an affidavit that acknowledged his guilt to the lesser charge.

One of the foundations of our justice system is the right to a fair trial, and this case serves to illustrate that point. If there is any discrepancy in the police's documentation or mishandling of evidence in a case, the court must take that into account. When these situations occur, it may lead to lesser charges or a complete dismissal of the case.

A skilled criminal defense attorney might look through the police reports and evidence in a case to find out if there are inconsistencies and ensure that the evidence has been handled properly. If there are any issues with the paperwork or evidence, the attorney may bring those up in court in order to possibly have charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Source: WISTV, "Evidence reason Bakari Sellers' DUI charge dropped", LaDonna Beeker, June 06, 2013

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