Landmark DUI Case Taken to the United States Supreme Court

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The attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Humphrey have taken a landmark DUI case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The case involves Double Jeopardy and its application to DUI cases in State Court.

Recently, we filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court appealing a 3-1 landmark decision from the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The question presented to the United States Supreme Court in Minior v. State of Rhode Island,

“Assuming that the necessary elements for collateral estoppel exist, do the rights conferred by the Doctrine of Collateral Estoppel, as a sub-doctrine of the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, protect a defendant from being forced to defend himself against the state for a second time in a criminal trial on the same issue after said issue had been decided against the state after the companion trial on the civil (quasi criminal) violation of “Reasonable and Prudent Speeds”?

Counsel for Minior have argued that upon all elements of Collateral Estoppel having been satisfied, the United States Constitution demands its application and that Double Jeopardy requires dismissal of the DUI case. Indeed in his dissent, Justice Flaherty stated, “[I]t seems to me to be far more inequitable to require a defendant to defend twice for essentially the same conduct than to apply collateral estoppel to a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.”