When a person is arrested for drinking and driving, most people take the side of the police department. They believe the suspect was, in fact, driving under the influence before the individual ever gets the chance to have their day in court. A DUI suspect can have their life turned upside down, even if they are guilty of no crime. A college student-athlete recently found that out, claiming police set him up for a DUI.
Mark Walton is a student and football player at the University of Miami. He had a promising sophomore year with the Miami Hurricanes, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and scoring a team-high 10 touchdowns. However, he was booted from the team and his future was put at risk after he was arrested for drunk driving.
On April 23rd, police took the 19-year-old Walton into custody on charges of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. However, it immediately appeared that something strange was going on. A news camera team was oddly on location at the apartment building at 4 a.m. when Walton was arrested, to film him performing field sobriety tests. Walton proclaimed his innocence. However, based on the arrest alone, the University of Miami kicked Walton off the team.
According to the City of Miami police, a woman called to report someone that someone claiming to be an off-duty police officer had assaulted her. Officers were at the woman's house, who had asked Walton to come over. When Walton arrived, he was arrested.
Walton said he had witnessed a woman driving out of control and driving over the speed limit. He pulled up to her and tried to get her to stop the car. When she would not stop the car, he followed her home to make sure she got their safe. A couple of days later, the woman sent him a number of text messages asking him to come over. He said he would meet up with her out somewhere, but she continued to ask him to come over. To Walton and his attorney, the whole incident looked like a set-up.
After the arrest, public humiliation, and leaked evidence to the press, the attorney general has decided not to file charges. A chemical breath test showed Walton blood alcohol level was below the legal limit, and there was no evidence that he had impersonated a police officer. Assistant state attorney Nicole Garcia said the state did not have sufficient evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Walton recently spoke out about the events in a press conference in Coral Gables, Florida. “I'm happy all this is over with,” said Walton. He was reinstated to the team; however, he acknowledges the effect this arrest may have on his future and his reputation. “My biggest thing about this whole situation is the way they put dirt on my name. I'm just happy things came out the way they're supposed to come out. Hopefully, people will look at me the same way that they did before the situation.”
If you are arrested for drinking and driving, your arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. With more than 30 years of experience defending people facing DUI charges in the East Bay, Lynn Gorelick understands how a conviction can affect your future. Contact the East Bay criminal defense attorney who understands the charges you are facing, and will fight for your rights.