A recent editorial in the Tampa Bay Times discusses a case where a DUI attorney in Tampa Florida was able to get his client a very lenient sentence by simply exposing the poor investigation performed by police. The attorney's client, Matthew Moye, was charged with DUI manslaughter after striking two pedestrians with his car while under the influence of alcohol, causing both of them to lose their lives. 37 year old Moye's blood-alcohol level at the time of the accident was 0.13, well over the legal limit.
Moye could have faced up to 25 years in prison for his crimes. Thanks to his attorney submitting an outline with 140 “holes” in the police investigation, he was given a plea bargain for only 12 years of incarceration. According to the report, there were multiple pieces of evidence that were overlooked and some leads that were not investigated. For example, the article states that:
The original police reconstruction of the accident scene was wrong. One defense expert estimated that Moye's car was traveling at half the speed that authorities claimed.
In light of this case, Florida citizens are questioning the overall effectiveness of the Tampa Police Force. The police chief blames the errors on lack of manpower and too many cases to deal with.
Though this case happened in Florida, it is a good example of how a DUI attorney can work to benefit their clients. Here, the attorney's defense was to examine other possibilities that the police may have missed like the report of a taxi driver that fled the scene immediately after the accident. The police never followed up with this driver and have no way of knowing if he was somehow involved. Exposing these errors in court could have led to a not guilty verdict and would have been embarrassing to the legal system, so prosecutors were probably eager to offer a plea deal.