The jury trial involving former Merced county sheriff's deputy, Dylan J. Buessing was expected to begin earlier this week, but it has been delayed due to reported scheduling conflicts. Further proceedings associated with the trial are set to begin on December 17 of this year. However, an actual trial date has not yet been scheduled.
Last year, Buessing was arrested and charged with leaving a crash scene and lying to police. Buessing has already entered a plea of not guilty associated with misdemeanor charges of hit-and-run and giving false information to officers. There was also a traffic infraction involved with this single-vehicle crash on October 30, 2012.
Although at the time of the crash, Buessing was employed with Merced county as a sheriff's deputy, he has since left the position. Officials with the sheriff's department declined to comment as to the reasons why Buessing is no longer employed with them, but do refer to personnel issues. Even though Buessing was employed with Merced county on the date of the accident, the actual crash occurred while he was off duty and was not driving a government issued vehicle.
The crash itself was said to have caused approximately $3,000 worth of damage after a light pole was found to have been knocked down at the scene of the accident. Although Buessing had fled after the crash, investigating officers were able to conclude that Buessing was involved because the vehicle's front license plate was found at the scene.
According to police reports, Buessing originally told officers that he was using his cell phone when he accidentally ran the stop sign and then lost control of the truck. Buessing states that he had fallen asleep at the wheel after taking two Vicodin pills less than one hour before crashing and says that he fled the scene because he did not want to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
DUI charges in Merced county, along with the rest of the state of California may lead to pretty harsh penalties. In the case involving Buessing or any other party, DUI penalties become more severe when the individual has been previously convicted of DUI charges.
Specifically, California law states that a second DUI offense may lead the individual to incur a one-year jail sentence, a one year license suspension, and three to five years of probation. Of course, the fines associated with a second DUI increase, too.
If you have been convicted of DUI in the past, another DUI conviction will ultimately lead you to a more intensive alcohol education program along with the other penalties. These programs are meant to deter a person from ever making the choice to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs again in the future. If an individual is charged and convicted a second time of DUI, it is reasonable to assume that the first round of alcohol or drug education was not enough and the person must try it again.
When facing charges associated with DUI, it is best to work with an experienced professional who knows the law and will work with you to provide the proper defense. If you have been charged with DUI in Merced county or surrounding areas, contact Terry A. Wapner today.