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Brother Continues to Plead the Fifth in DUI Manslaughter Trial

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In March of 2009, Josh Hunter of Sarasota, Florida was arrested after his car overturned on Interstate 75. The accident left one passenger dead, and Hunter was charged with DUI manslaughter. Hunter's older brother, James Hunter, was also in the vehicle, but refused to testify against his brother during a pre-trial hearing. Due to his refusal to testify on April 27, James Hunter was taken into custody as well.

James Hunter was given a second chance to testify in May, but once again he refused to implicate his younger brother. Instead he chose to invoke his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. But the Fifth Amendment does not apply when subpoenaed in someone else's trial. In lieu of James Hunter's refusal, the prosecution requested that he be charged with criminal contempt.

A fourth passenger in the vehicle did testify in May, but said he was too drunk to remember who was driving the car. Also testifying was Florida Highway Patrol trooper George Yeck, who said that Josh Hunter smelled of alcohol following the deadly crash.

In a U.S. criminal court proceeding, you may only plead the Fifth Amendment as the defendant in your own trial.

If you have recently been charged with a Virginia DUI, you may want to know more about pleading the Fifth Amendment. To do so you can visit our article, Can Pleading the Fifth After a Virginia DUI Arrest Help My Case?

Virginia DUI Lawyer Bob Battle has the experience and ability to help his clients use these errors to mount a successful DUI defense. To learn more about Virginia DUI, get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia. Or, contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts
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