Fresno Criminal Lawyer Comments on Fatal Fresno Drunk Driving Collision

Mar 27, 2014

It's been all over the news here in Fresno, and perhaps it's time a Fresno criminal lawyer talks about it and gives expert interpretation.

It was a tragic event that deserves to be chronicled, in a situation that is difficult for everyone involved. In late January, around 6 P.M. there was a fatal crash. A man was driving drunk in his red, Chevy minivan, ran a stop sign in which he hit one motorist, continued around the turn and as he drove down McCall, he drifted into the lane of an oncoming car.

In that car were four women. All four sisters who grew up in Del Rey. Three died as a result of the crash. The fourth, the driver, in critical condition and taken to the hospital. 

From the news report:

Elizabeth Rodriguez was taken to the hospital. Her three sisters in the car with her died on scene. The three women have been identified as 73-year-old Jennie Monreal from Sanger, 72-year-old Josephine Contreras of San Jose, and 70-year-old Dolores Rodriguez of Del Rey.

This sort of news obviously shakes a community to its core. The idea that a man gets behind the wheel, while already intoxicated, and attempts to drive a car, is an unforgivable situation to be sure. Something that will take a long time for all the families to forgive.

The driver of the car, Tranquillino Ramos Figueroa, faces 45 years to life in prison, and is being charged with three counts of murder. And while many angry people would argue that he doesn't deserve a fair trial, that doesn't fall into the purview of the law. Justice is blind.

In fact, there are many reasons that Mr. Figueroa deserves just as much of a fair trial as anyone else who commits a crime, even if the penalties are steep, and the crime seems heinous in some ways.

For instance Mr. Figueroa's background could come into question. After all, the burden of proof falls upon the shoulders of the prosecution. The defense should be ready and able to counter any arguments a prosecution gives with viable and reasonable evidence that places the defendant at the scene, committing the crime in question, and for what reason it happened. 

For instance:

  • No evidence to convict
  • Not being mirandized/improper arrest procedure
  • Not the driver of the vehicle
  • Eyewitness testimony

The bottom line is everyone deserves a fair trial in a criminal case. The law is set up in such a way that you are innocent until proven guilty, no matter what you have been charged with. And the same thing can be said for Mr. Figueroa. 

If you are or a loved one has been involved in a DUI, please contact us for more information on how we can help.

Category: Traffic Crimes

Michael Mitchell


Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.