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Strickland v State – old similars and trial strategy – Forsyth DUI

Strickland v.State, A13A0245, Court of Appeals of Georgia, July 9, 2013. The Court of Appeals confirmed the Forsyth County jury’s finding of guilt on the charge of DUI less safe under the Georgia DUI statute. Strickland used the age-old you can’t prove I was driving defense. Unfortunately, it has been a myth since the discovery of circumstantial evidence that you can’t be convicted of DUI if they don’t see you behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. The Cop said he drove to the parking lot after being found sleeping in the bed of a running track with parking lights on in the middle of a parking aisle. Strickland appealed alleging that a prior similar DUI was improperly admitted against him because it was not similar. The Court of Appeals found that under the pre-2013 similar transaction caselaw it was admissible to prove bent of mind regardless of varying circumstances. This law changed on January 1, 2013.

Further, Strickland argued that his attorney was ineffective for failing to ask for a continuance to allow Strickland’s alibi witness to testify that he drove Strickland to the parking lot where he was arrested for DUI. The Court found that not asking for a continuance was the trial strategy. Justice McFadden disagreed in a concurring opinion. The Court of Appeals also found that jury selection is always a matter of strategy and can not be ineffective assistance.

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