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Bicyclists Louisiana driver hit tested positive for marijuana

Prosecutors do not have a case without evidence to back up allegations. Evidence analysis is never more critical for a Louisiana defendant than when a charge involves another person's death. An attorney not only preserves defendants' rights during trial, but looks in the past and future for ways to minimize damage.

The defense in a Baton Rouge case claims police may have overlooked important points in a fatal accident. The defendant is facing vehicular homicide and repeat drunk driving charges. The driver's attorney asserted the breath test police used was inaccurate and prosecutors ignored marijuana in the systems of the bicyclists the defendant struck.

Police blamed the January 2012 accident on the alleged drunk driver, whose blood alcohol content registered 0.307 percent on an Intoxilyzer breath test. The defendant's vehicle struck two men riding bicycles, killing one and critically injuring the other. Toxicology tests revealed both bicyclists had used marijuana.

Attorneys said the surviving victim continues to suffer, more than two years after the alleged drunk driving crash. The man was hospitalized for a month following the accident.

Prosecutors argued the positive marijuana results did not dismiss the drunk driver's wrongdoing. The state also defended the outcome of the alcohol test, which prosecuting attorneys said was properly performed by certified operators using accurate equipment. This is the defendant's second DWI arrest.

Juries make decisions about the fate of criminal defendants based on facts. Jurists must be certain about the strength of the evidence, before convicting anyone of a crime. The final choice to convict cannot occur if anyone on the jury has a reasonable doubt.

In some trials, jurors cannot come to a unanimous decision. Deliberations may continue until the jury reaches an agreement or the case is deadlocked. With a hung jury, a judge declares the case a mistrial, which may be followed by a retrial or a charge dismissal.

Source: WAFB, "Trial set for accused drunk driver who hit cyclists, killing one" No author given, Feb. 10, 2014

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