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Philadelphia nun tries using a unique defense after DUI charge


There are many laws in Philadelphia that people must follow. These laws are generally designed to protect both people are property. People do not always follow these laws though and people are charged with crimes every day. However, one of the basic principles of the criminal justice system is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. There are defenses to crimes and until the person is actually convicted, they remain innocent.

A nun from Philadelphia recently tried using a unique defense after being charged with a DUI. The nun was arrested after a witness saw her back her car into an auto repair shop and drive away. The nun's BAC was allegedly .16 and there was a half-empty bottle of wine in the backseat.

The nun stated that she did not remember driving at all though because she had taken an Ambien with a glass of wine before going to bed. She also stated that the pharmacist did not tell her about the effects of Ambien. Her attorney argued that since she did not know she was behind the wheel she cannot be guilty. Ultimately the judge did not find the testimony of the nun credible and the nun was convicted of a DUI.

While the nun's defense did not work because the judge did not think she was credible, there are many other defenses to DUIs. The police must follow certain rules prior to stopping a vehicle as well as after the arrest. If these rules are not followed or they perform certain tasks improperly, the evidence of intoxication may be suppressed making a conviction highly unlikely.

Many people in Philadelphia are charged with DUIs each year. Even though the person is charged, it does not automatically mean that there will be a conviction. The person must be found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before they can be convicted. Experienced attorneys understand the defenses to DUIs and may be able to protect one's rights.

Source: NJ.com, "Philly nun convicted of DUI in N.J. as judge rejects sleep-driving claim" Andy Polhamus, April 20, 2016

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