The DUI manslaughter case of Donte Stallworth ended this week with a surprise. The famous football player plead to a DUI manslaughter charge after he hit and killed a pedestrian in Miami on March 14 of this year. Stallworth was driving his Bentley with a blood alcohol level of .126, almost twice the legal limit. The legal limit in Miami for a DUI is the same as for a Los Angeles DUI, .08 by weight.
According to news result, Stallworth had been drinking and then ended up driving down the street when 59-year-old Mario Reyes jumped out between two parked cars trying to cross the street to get to a bus.
Most people were outraged by the low jail sentence of 30 days plus two years of house arrest. However, his pre-filing DUI defense attorney most likely made the difference in this case. By intervening early on his behalf, Stallworth was able to have his DUI attorney raise legal questions that may of given prosecutors pause in deciding how hard to fight this case.
In order for the prosecution to prove that Stallworth was driving under the influence, the District Attorney would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following: 1) that he was driving with a high blood alcohol level, and 2) that while driving he committed an illegal act. Most Los Angeles DUI cases are proven when the driver crosses over the double yellow line, hits a parked car, or runs a red light. The very act of committing one of these violations is direct evidence of driving under the influence. Because the victim in the Stallworth case jumped into traffic, he might have contributed to his death and even a sober person might have hit him. Therefore, there were proof problems in the case and the prosecution decided to plead the case out for little jail time. Stallworth also paid the family of the victim for their loss and that also helped his case.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.