Thursday, October 13, 2005

Driving While License Suspended conviction reversed - insufficiency of evidence

[CASE] Criminal defendants often argue on appeal that the evidence was insufficient. Here is one of the rare successful times. Defendant was convicted of driving while his license was suspended or revoked in the first degree (RCW 46.20.342(1)(a)). That offense requires that the person driving had had his or her license suspended as an "habitual offender" under RCW 46.65. In this case, the prosecution introduced evidence that the license had been suspended, but not evidence about why it was suspended. The defendant's statement on the stand "I'm suspended in the first degree" was not enough to show that element. State v. Smith, --- P.3d ---, 2005 WL 2386250 (Wash. Sept. 29, 2005), Find Result - 2005 WL 2386250.

By the way, this case also has a reminder to preserve issues for appeal -- the Supreme Court did not address a hearsay argument about the license revocation record because defense counsel had not done so.

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1 comment:

Alexandra Rowe said...

This is one of the very rare cases where the defendant already had a suspended or revoked license. Our DUI attorney in Orlando can provide assistance even in cases where it looks like there are no loopholes to free yourself.