Driving with a Suspended License and DUI Should Not Be Tried Together
The law is a highly complex and intricate subject matter, with many different exceptions, rules and considerations. While this can sometimes seem inconvenient, it is actually that way for a reason. Laws regulate lives and life isn’t always straightforward. There are exceptions for most rules. Such a protocol exists in order to protect the rights of regular people, while also giving the state the power it needs to maintain peace.
Is it perfect? Not at all. Especially because you need to have a full knowledge of the law in order to get it to work for you. Or at least you need to find a Miami criminal defense lawyer that understands the law and can represent you in court and advise you leading up to your hearings. At Stroleny Law, P.A. we take great pride in our work to help regular people avoid unfair charges.
Take for example cases where you are caught driving with a suspended license while also under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In such scenarios, you might reasonably expect that the state attorney could try you for both of those crimes at the same time.
In these circumstances, a prosecutor will file two separate charges in the information. One will be for DUI and the other for DWLS (driving with license suspended). If the defendant opts to take the case to trial, the charges should be separated or severed. That means that there should be two separate trials, with two separate juries. The jury that hears the evidence for the DWLS should not hear the evidence for the DUI and vice versa. This is something you might not know or realize without speaking with a Miami criminal defense lawyer, which is why it is so important to get advice prior to making a decision.
The reason these charges need to be severed is because the evidence that pertains to the suspended license is not relevant to the evidence relating to the DUI and could taint the jury. Thus, this evidence would be considered to be ‘unduly prejudicial’. That means that it might influence the decision of the jury or even the judge, despite not necessarily being related.
It may be that the defendant in fact attempted to renew their license and had no idea that their license was still suspended. The driver then at a later date is arrested for driving under the influence and learns their license is suspended. Now imagine that both of these cases were handled together. It would be hard for the jury to accept the possibility that the driver had indeed tried to get their license organized and they weren’t drinking and driving. But being guilty for one crime should not instantly make you guilty for another.
For these reasons, it is always crucial to ensure that you get advice from a top Miami defense attorney. Ensure that you know precisely what you are up against and how the trial should be conducted.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer.