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Not Guilty Jury Verdict: Motorcycle DWI With High Blood Alcohol

MARCH 2012

The client pulled up to a stoplight on his motorcycle, and the police officer behind him decided to pull him over. The in-car video showed that the client’s license plate light was functional.

At the pretrial hearing and before trial, the officer testified that the license plate light was burned out. In the trial, we produced the seat assembly that included the license plate light. The “light” was illuminated by multiple LED lights, all of which were fully functional. Russ asked for and received a “38.23” jury instruction, which instructs the jury to disregard evidence that was improperly seized. In this case, Russ argued that the defendant and his blood were improperly seized because the officer did not have a valid reason to stop his motorcycle.

Despite the client’s high blood alcohol concentration of .21, almost three times the legal limit, the jury took the 38.23 instruction to heart and acquitted the client of the DWI.

Court: Williamson County Court 1