In Pennsylvania DUI cases, the prosecution bears the burden of establishing the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution is unable to offer evidence sufficient to meet this burden, the trier of fact should find the defendant not guilty. In some DUI cases, though, the judge or jury will issue a verdict that does not align with the evidence. Fortunately, defendants who believe they were unjustly convicted of DUI offenses can pursue appeals. They must develop compelling arguments on appeal; however, otherwise, the court will most likely decline to reverse their guilty verdict, as shown in a recent Pennsylvania ruling. If you are accused of a DUI offense, it is advisable to retain a Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer to assist you in protecting your rights.
History of the Case
It is alleged that the police responded to a 911 call reporting reckless driving. When the police officer arrived at the parking lot where the call indicated the driver was located, he observed the defendant sitting in the driver’s seat of his parked car. There were no other cars in the lot. The defendant spoke with the defendant, who had a strong odor of alcohol and exhibited signs of intoxication.
It is reported that the defendant refused to submit to a breath test or field sobriety testing. He was arrested and charged with DUI general impairment. Following a bench trial, the judge convicted him as charged. The defendant appealed, arguing that his conviction was against the weight of the evidence.
Evidence Sufficient to Reverse a DUI Conviction
On appeal, the court affirmed the defendant’s guilty verdict. The court explained that it was well-established that an appellate brief must cite the record and any relevant authority. In other words, the court will not develop arguments on behalf of the appellant or search the record to find evidence in support of their arguments.
Instead, the court will only address those issues that an appellant properly presents and develops in an appropriate brief as established by the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure. The court further explained that any appellate arguments that neglect to abide by the rules may be deemed waived, and arguments that are not adequately developed are waived.
In the subject case, the court found that the defendant’s arguments were grossly underdeveloped and only included boilerplate assertions without any reference to the record or applicable case law. Thus, the court denied his appeal.
Meet with an Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney
People charged with DUI offenses in Pennsylvania do not have to offer proof of their innocence, but they will often argue that the prosecution lacks the evidence needed to sustain a conviction. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
Zachary B. Cooper is an experienced Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer who can advise you of your possible defenses and aid you in pursuing the best legal result possible under the facts of your case. You can contact Mr. Cooper through the form online or at (215) 542-0800 to set up a meeting.