Junior Seau Driving Off CliffOctober 19, 2010
Junior Seau was arrest for some type of domestic violence, then apparently drove his car off a cliff. He has not been arrested or cited for driving the car off the cliff. Junior Seau driving off cliff may or may not be a crime.
Many readers are disturbed by the fact that he has not been charged with any type of crime or traffic violation for the poor driving. Basic criminal law tells us that to be convicted of a crime where intent is an element, the prosecutor must show that the defendant possessed the intent to commit the crime for which they are charged. Further, the burden of proof and production lays solely on the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime took place and that the intent of the defendant was in fact to commit the crime they are charging.
How could the prosecutor do this regarding a traffic accident with Junior Seau? Do they know that he intentionally ran the car off the cliff? Do they know that he was driving recklessly? Does the prosecutor have any evidence that his car was not up to inspection and kept in the best possible driving manner? Does Junior Seau have a poor driving record? Has he done anything like this before? What evidence is there that his car driving off the cliff was anything more then an accident? What evidence exists that he fell asleep at the wheel? Further, if he did fall asleep at the wheel, what evidence is there that he acted in a reckless, negligent or intentional manner by falling asleep? If he was driving home from the police station from his arrest from the domestic issue, perhaps the police should have let him drive if he had been up all night from the previous arrest? If they think he fell asleep at the wheel because they got a statement from him, was the statement taken legally and can they use that statement against him in the criminal trial?
The prosecutor should ask themselves all of these questions before they decide whether to prosecute anyone for a crime. In this case, the scale clearly tips towards no arrest because the prosecutor will have a very difficult job proving any and all of the above. If this were to happen to any of us regular folks, there would be no questions that no ticket and no arrest is the appropriate response. This is a matter that is only a big deal because the drive of the car is a celebrity.