When it comes to law enforcement officials, there are many in Missouri who are committed to ensuring that justice is served. Unfortunately, there are also those are who committed to obtaining a conviction regardless of the evidence in a case. However, there must be sufficient evidence to prove that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict the individual, despite any past interactions with the law. For example, it cannot be assumed that a person was DWI simply because he or she was previously convicted of doing so.
Even if a person is convicted of a crime, they still have the option of appealing the verdict. In fact, a man in Missouri has recently successfully appealed his conviction of driving while intoxicated. In 2015, passersby reportedly took the man home after they spotted him in a road near a crashed truck. A police officer claims that he discovered several empty and partially empty alcohol containers in the truck afterward.
Though the man is said to have initially refused a blood alcohol test, one was performed when a warrant was obtained; reports indicate that his blood alcohol content as .129, over the legal limit. He was later convicted of driving while intoxicated as a "prior and persistent offender." However, an appeals court recently overturned his conviction, arguing that even though it was likely that the man was the driver of the truck, it cannot be determined if he was intoxicated at the time of the crash or if he had consumed alcohol after the crash occurred.
Most people in Missouri who do not have legal training are unfamiliar with how the criminal justice system works and their rights as they navigate it. Regardless of other issues related to the case -- such as past convictions -- there must be sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in all criminal cases, including those involving accusations of DWI. Often, having an experienced attorney providing guidance can help those facing criminal charges fully understand their legal options, including filing an appeal if a conviction occurs.