Martinsburg man's indictment for third DUI not proof of guilt

On Wednesday, June 4, the online news source Herald-Mail Media published a list of recent indictments against individuals in the area. On this list was information about a man charged with “one count of driving under the influence third offense and two counts of driving revoked (for) DUI third offense.”

The name of the individual is certainly not important for the readers of our Martinsburg DUI/DWI law blog to know. Instead, we’ll focus the discussion on a couple of other issues that are brought up as a result of this published list: multiple offenses and indictments.

Let’s look first at the issue of multiple drunk driving offenses. In this case, the man has already been convicted of two DUIs in the past. The fact that this is the third offense means that this charge is a felony.

Sentencing guidelines for a third or felony DUI include larger fines, the possibility of three years in jail, a year-long license suspension and even the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

Fighting to minimize these potential sanctions is part of a strong DUI defense, and something that this individual can still do. An indictment is not a conviction.

When someone is indicted by a grand jury it simply means that the evidence, if assumed true, is enough to act as the basis for charges. It is a step that helps prevent law enforcement officers and prosecutors from violating the rights of citizens by filing charges based on little or no evidence at all.

Any drunk driving offense can impact a person’s life, which is why they should seek the assistance of a Martinsburg defense attorney immediately.

Source: Herald-Mail Media, “Dozens indicted by grand jury in Berkeley County,” Matthew Umstead, June 4, 2014

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