A lot of DUI blogs out there seem to focus on celebrities, politicians, and law enforcement officials who are accused of a DUI. These flashy headline grabbers garner a disproportionate amount of attention. Keep in mind, an accusation is just that- an accusation. At that point it has not been proven in a court of law. Unfortunately, when we are dealing with DUI, innocent until proven guilty, becomes more like innocent until accused of a DUI. There is certainly a rush to judgment which is clearly unfair. Everyone has the constitutional right to a fair trial and due process, whether they be an entertainer, politician or even a Pennsylvania police officer accused of a DUI. Everyone is entitled to a truthful and ethical defense whether they be hardened criminals or an innocent person falsely accused.
As a prominent Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer, I have had the opportunity to represent thousands of citizens accused of DUI including some Pennsylvania police officers. I see it to be hypocritical and unethical not to extend my services even to the most formally staunch DUI police officer because at the end of the day, even a police officer is a common citizen accused of a crime. They have the same rights you and I do.
One thing that really bothers me is the hand that the media plays in reporting these high profile DUI cases. Once again, there is a rush to judgment and a failure or unwillingness to offer a balanced and neutral assessment of the facts and DUI laws. Police reports are cited as if they are absolute and unchallengeable. In fact, the local newspapers all over Pennsylvania report a list of people who have been arrested (read: accused) of a DUI, but they never publish a retraction or even a mere mention of the many DUI suspects who are found not guilty of a DUI. That’s not fair to anyone.
As a Pennsylvania DUI attorney I simply ask that everyone who reports on these matters do so in an ethical and open manner that provides the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to keep a truly open mind and to apply the good old fashion adage and major legal principal of the presumption of innocence. Police officers and celebrities are due the same constitutional rights that all of us are entitled to which is the presumption of innocence and the ability to present their case and have their day in court.
-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
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