Thursday, February 9, 2012

Owens v. State case brief

Owens v. State93 Md. App. 162, 611 A.2d 1043;1992 Md. App.
Maryland Court of Appeals

FACTS
-Complaint of Suspicious Vehicle.  Trooper arrived at 11PM due to call.
-D behind wheel of parked auto on private driveway at night with lights on and motor running.
-D slept in drivers seat with open BEER between legs.  Two more empty cans were in vehicle.
-Trooper awoke him.  D slurred speech.  Refused alcohol test and had an alcohol restriction his license.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
-D found guilty of driving while intoxicated by judge (no jury).  Appealing the finding b/c evidence not sufficient to support.

ISSUE
-Was the evidence here sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that D arrived from a public highway or was about to set forth on a public highway?

HOLDING
-Yes, evidence was sufficient.
-Here the circumstances were inconsistent with a reasonable hypothesis of innocence.

REASONING
-The trooper was brought to the scene by a complaint of a suspicious vehicle.  This does not prove guilt but makes one of the two inferences above more reasonable.

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