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Judge accused of drunk driving, faces several charges

A judge in Pennsylvania was recently accused of drinking and driving. He now faces drunk driving charges. The incident leading to his arrest took place in late September.

According to authorities, the man struck an individual who was directing traffic at a sports game. The traffic police officer reported that he had stopped the judge's car to let other cars go through. However, when the traffic officer was not looking at the man, the judge stepped on the gas, and the car struck the officer's leg and ankle.

The accident was minor and did not cause any injuries or vehicle damage. However, when the judge left the scene, he reportedly arrived at yet another intersection where he tried to go around some traffic barricades. According to police, the judge showed signs that he was intoxicated, and he denied knowing that he had hit a traffic officer. Blood tests later reportedly showed that his blood alcohol level was .231 -- over double the legal limit. The judge now faces multiple charges, including two DUI-related misdemeanors.

Since he is accused of drunk driving, the judge may opt to proceed to trial to fight the charges, where it is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen. However, instead, he may seek to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors. The benefit of a plea agreement in Pennsylvania is that it may lead to a lighter sentence than what the defendant may receive at trial if found guilty. Either way, an attorney will strive to make sure that the judge's rights are not violated and that his best interests are upheld from the beginning to the end of the criminal proceedings.

Source: wearecentralpa.com, "Centre County judge face DUI related charges", Hannah Smith, Oct. 20, 2017

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