Popular swimming phenom and eight gold medal winner Michael Phelps has been suspended by USA due to the picture of him holding what is believed to be a marijuana bong. The now famous picture of Phelps surfaced in Star magazine. According to reports, the incident occurred in November, when Phelps attended a house party while visiting the University of South Carolina. Phelps has apologized to his fans and referred to his behavior as regrettable. Phelps has never tested positive for any banned substance.
Phelps has been in the spotlight before for “regrettable behavior” including a previous conviction for operating under the influence of alcohol often referred to as driving under the influence or DUI in Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts, a conviction for driving under the influence can carry a sentence of up to two years in jail. The District Attorney has to prove that you were driving a car on a public way and that you were under the influence of alcohol. Any one of these areas should be challenged when defending an OUI case in a Massachusetts. To prove operation the District Attorney does not have to show that you were actually driving. Massachusetts Courts have held that starting the engine of the car or making use of the power provided by the engine constitutes operation. Massachusetts Courts have held that putting the keys in the car’s ignition can be enough to establish operation.
If you have been arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol [OUI/DWI] in Massachusetts it is important to have an experienced defense attorney on your side. A successful trial strategy includes attacking all areas of the District Attorney’s case.
If you took a breathalyzer, it is important to ensure that all of the relevant procedures were followed . If the police failed to follow statutorily mandated procedures then filing a motion to suppress the results of the breathalyzer is imperative. Suppression of the results weaken the District Attorney’s case significantly and can result in an acquittal for the client.
In addition to filing a pre-trial motion to suppress the results of the breathalyzer other motions may appropriately be filed to protect your rights. In appropriate situations a motion to suppress statements and a motion to suppress the results of the field sobriety tests should be filed.