The incident occurred when a Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy rolled through a stop sign and caused a violent crash to occur.
The crash victim, Tanya Weyker, was hurt so badly by the crash that she couldn't blow into a breath-testing device or perform field sobriety tests that ultimately led to her arrest.
Tanya Weyker diagnosed with cancer at age three, and the prolonged radiation treatments literally curved her spine. The lifelong medical complications have not stopped her from pursuing a college degree. Or from driving a car. In fact, Weyker had never gotten so much as a speeding ticket until the night she crossed paths with Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Quiles.
It was February 20th, 2013, and Deputy Quiles was working the night shift on patrol at General Mitchell International Airport. As he pulled out onto Howell Avenue to make his rounds, he T-boned a passing car and sent it spinning into a tree. As rescue workers tended to Weyker, police and Sheriff's deputies started asking questions.
"One asked if I had anything to drink that night," she said. "And I told them a few sips from a friend's drink."
A deputy noted a light odor of alcohol on her breath. He said her speech was slurred. And her eyes looked red and glassy.
"I explained to him my eyes were red and glassy because I was crying," she said.
When asked about her use of prescription drugs, Weyker says she told the truth.
"I just got my wisdom teeth pulled out, so they gave me Vicodin for that. I told them it was little over a week since I took the Vicodin," Weyker said.
Her injuries were too severe to allow for any field sobriety tests. She couldn't even give a breath sample. But another deputy, who also worked in the airport bureau, arrested Weyker anyway, on five separate charges including drunk driving causing injury.
In his official report, Deputy Quiles wrote that he stopped at the stop sign and looked both ways before pulling out. He told a Milwaukee police officer that he never saw any headlights, even though Weyker's Camry had lights that come on automatically.
But less than a month after the crash, test results showed she had no alcohol in her system. And by July, her drug test came back negative too. Five months after the crash, it was clear Weyker had been stone cold sober.
Five more months passed before a prosecutor finally looked at the case and declined to file charges. But even then, Weyker says, she was left in the dark.
Deputy Quiles was never disciplined for the inaccurate report that caused Weyker so much trouble, despite a previous history of discipline for filing reports written by someone else.
This accident goes to show that innocent people can in fact be arrested for crimes in which they did not commit. Everyone deserves his or her right to due process under the law ("innocent until proven guilty"). You should not enter a plea of guilty just because a law enforcement official believes you committed a crime. The prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are in fact guilty of the charge.
Before accepting a plea bargain, or representing yourself in a drunk driving case, you should consult with a DUI defense attorney to make sure your constitutional rights have not been violated. Do not plead guilty for something you did not do. This may sound like common sense, but countless Americans across the country routinely enter guilty pleas on the grounds of false evidence presented against them and such individuals not knowing their rights.
I primarily focus my law practice on representing Washtenaw County residents charged with drunk driving. Contact me to schedule a consultation regarding the charge(s) asserted against you.