Local and national news outlets report that Red Sox relief pitcher, Bobby Jenks, was arrested early Friday morning in Fort Myers, Florida for suspected DUI, Property Damage and Leaving the Scene of an Accident. It was further reported that Lee County police officers stopped Jenks's vehicle after apparently observing erratic driving.
It was further alleged that Jenks made a number of statements to the investigating officers during the motor vehicle stop, concerning his "erratic" driving, ingestion of medication and an accident that he was involved in outside of a Florida nightclub earlier in the evening. Jenks was reportedly arrested at approximately 3:43 AM, and released from police custody a few hours later, presumably on his own personal recognizance.
Red Sox General Manager Ben Charington reportedly responded to the allegations via text message, indicating that Red Sox team officials are aware of the incident, and currently gathering information regarding the allegations.
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Attorney Tofani, of counsel to Parker|Scheer LLP and an associate of the firm's criminal practice group, reflects:
Reviewing the complete police report would allow for a more complete picture of the allegations that are involved with the reported incident involving Lee County police officers and Red Sox relief pitcher Bobby Jenks. At first glance, the most problematic elements with respect to Jenks's defense are the reported statements that he provided during police questioning. As a general rule, I advise my clients to be cooperative and respectful when stopped by police; but, to politely exercise their constitutionally protected right to remain silent. Despite the commonly cited fear of angering police by doing so, in my experience, most police officers respect the polite and respectful exercising of one's right against self incrimination.
The rules of evidence generally prohibit the inclusion of out of court statements, when they are offered as proof of the matter asserted - otherwise known as hearsay. But, one of the most commonly utilized exceptions to the rule against hearsay is the admission of out of court statements offered for their truth when such statements are declarations made by the party opponent. In other words, when the defendant in a criminal matter makes statements out of court, the prosecution, as the "party opponent," can introduce such statements as evidence under this exception to the rule against hearsay.
Accordingly, if the news reports are accurate, the statements that Jenks offered during police questioning will likely be introduced as incriminating evidence against him to prove: operation; impairment; consciousness of guilt; intent; and, destruction of property. These are merely a few examples of the elements that the prosecution will likely use Jenks's out of court statements as evidence in support thereof. Therefore, these admissions could prove to be a substantial obstacle for his criminal defense attorney, in furthering Jenks's defense to the charges of Driving Under the Influence, Destruction of Personal Property and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.
Often, members of the criminal defense litigation group at Parker|Scheer LLP successfully argue motions to suppress physical evidence and statements that is being offered against our clients. When preparing Jenks's defense, an experienced criminal defense attorney would likely scrutinize the totality of the circumstances surrounding these alleged admissions. For example, I would be interested in determining whether the statements were the result of improper police interrogation and whether Jenks was entitled to being advised of his rights to remain silent at that point. More specifically, if the officers continued to pepper Jenks with questions that were specifically designed to elicit incriminating responses during a custodial interrogation, and failed to advise Jenks of his Miranda rights, he would have a colorable argument in support of suppression of the damaging statements.
If you or a family member has been charged with criminal activity, please contact Parker | Scheer LLP for a free consultation with one of our experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Please also see College Student Criminal Defense Lawyer, Boston University Hockey Star Charged with Sexual Assault and MELANIE'S LAW - MA OUI Penalties for comments by Attorney Tofani and related Boston Criminal Defense posts.