After a driver is suspected of violating DWI laws and is arrested, the state must still prove its case. The prosecution must have enough evidence that the allegedly drunk driver was actually intoxicated and violated the elements of the DWI laws, in order to obtain a conviction on the DWI charges. This week, in Nevada, prosecutors failed to prove their case against 18-year-old Jean Ervin Soriano, and he will go free.
USAToday.com reports that Mr. Soriano was accused of driving a Dodge Durango in Nevada when the vehicle rear-ended a van that was carrying a family of seven. The van turned over, and five adult passengers were killed. Three of the passengers were brothers, and all of the vehicle’s occupants were family. The only survivors in the van were the driver and a 15-year-old passenger. They had all been driving from Nevada to Los Angeles after visiting an ill family member in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Soriano was arrested as the driver of the Dodge Durango, and he later admitted that he was driving that vehicle. Mr. Soriano’s blood alcohol content was tested, and it registered at 0.12 percent at the time of the accident.
But even with Mr. Soriano’s admission, the case was not open-and-shut, and as the investigation deepened when authorities discovered that Mr. Soriano was in fact not the driver of the Dodge Durango that tragic day. NBC reports that although Mr. Soriano had admitted to being the driver the vehicle had actually been operated by his friend, 23-year-old Alfred Gomez, of Utah. Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers verified this information after testing DNA evidence, which showed that there was no way that Mr. Soriano could have been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. In an interesting twist, because troopers believed that Mr. Soriano was the driver, and not Mr. Gomez, they did not test Mr. Gomez’s blood alcohol content. Mr. Gomez was injured at the time of the accident and hospitalized.
Mr. Soriano’s defense attorneys state that Mr. Soriano was intimidated by Mr. Gomez, and therefore did not come clean about the fact that Mr. Gomez had been the one actually driving the Dodge Durango that day. While it is unclear whether Mr. Gomez will be charged in relation to the accident, it is certain that Mr. Soriano will go free.
Mr. Soriano’s case illustrates the importance of thorough investigation and evidence review after a DWI accident has occurred. For a driver charged with violating DWI laws, the best defense against a DWI conviction is to hire an experienced attorney who knows how to conduct a deep investigation and get all of the facts. In addition to finding out the important details of a case, an experienced DWI attorney can defend a driver in court and can negotiate with the prosecution. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced DWI attorney.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.