When the Prosecutor Gets Charged

4 08 2009

What happens when a distinguished Prosecutor with 30 years of practicing the law, having gone after hundreds of people charged with DUI, gets charged with DUI himself? We are about to find out… the HARD way.  The 4 term elected Chief Prosecutor for South Carolina’s Richland and Kershaw counties Barney Giese was popped by Charleston SC cops while driving in Charleston on June 29, 2009.

turkeyAccording “The State – South Carolina’s Homepage” http://www.thestate.com/local/story/857689.html, Barney spent 11 hours “in the Pokey” before he was released on bail. He also failed 3 out of 4 breath tests having refused to submit to the first. He automatically lost his privilege to drive a car for 6 months becasue of the first refusal.

People that have known him for decades are shocked and the story is that he seriously was NOT a known drinker and a driver. South Carolina’s renowned Columbia criminal defense attorney Jack B. Swerling was quoted as saying “he’s one of the best prosecutors I’ve ever known”, “has an incredible sense of integrity and sense of justice”, “I just don’t accept it. I just don’t believe it.” As a Columbia criminal attorney for more than 30 years, Jack Swerling mentioned some irregularities in the case Charleston Police put together on Barney including no videotape of the DUI scene which has been a standard requirement for quite a while.

Because it’s particularly shocking that a Prosecutor that put hundreds of men and women behind bars for DUI is facing the same punishment, although for a first offense there is almost no possibility he will serve time. Will this have a negative impact on his ability to prosecute other DUI offenders? Some say yes and some say no but its definately a heated controversy.