On Monday evening, Action 9 news in Charlotte, North Carolina aired a story regarding The Honorable Kimberly Best-Staton, Mecklenburg County District Court Judge. The story was very one-sided and tried to illustrate Best-Staton as being easy on DWIs because she dismissed a case where the defendant blew a BAC of 0.27.

This story, however, cannot be further from the truth and is makes bold and general characterizations regarding Best-Staton’s record. The story does not know any of the facts or circumstances regarding these DWI cases or DWI laws in general.

The North Carolina Supreme Court requires police officers to perform thorough and precise investigations, especially prior to a DWI arrest. If these standards are not met then, it will invalidate the results of the field sobriety tests or could suppress or throw out the BAC reading at the police station.

These safeguards instituted by the North Carolina Supreme are designed to insure the police do not violate citizen’s rights and insure the police are not overzealous when making arrests. All too often the police act first and bother to ask questions later.

In addition, the story does not highlight Best-Staton’s experience prior to becoming a District Court Judge in Mecklenburg County. Specifically, Best-Staton is a former Magistrate in Mecklenburg County and understands the procedures police officer and magistrates must perform following a DWI arrest.

The case mentioned above and in the report, in which Best-Staton dismissed a DWI, where the defendant blew a BAC of 0.27 was based on the Magistrate’s and Mecklenburg Sheriff’s mistakes.

The motion filed by the defendant’s defense attorney is called a Knoll Motion. The North Carolina Supreme Court stated in the case “State v. Knoll” that the Magistate and Police Deparment were required to release the defendant in a DWI arrest within a reasonable time. The precise reason is to insure the State, Magistrate, and Police Department do not violate the defendant’s rights.

One of the most important rights, the NC Supreme states in this opinion, was the right of the defendant to seek independent testing following an arrest. This inalienable right, is afforded by the U.S. Constituion, it insures the defendant can confront his accusers and challenge the evidence the State has against him. In State v. Knoll, the NC Supreme Court stated the defendant’s right to seek his own independent test following the arrest was violated because the Magistrate and Police did not release him within a reasonable time following the DWI arrest.

The case with Action 9 News WSOC-TV alluded to in the report is precisely the violation stated above. This is the reason Best-Staton was required by law to dismiss the case. Most importantly, Best-Staton was a former Magistrate, so she has great experience with these type of Knoll Motions or Violations by the Police.

The story by Action 9 News never stated anything about Best-Staton’s experience or the facts surrounding the dismissal, in my opinion they were merely trying to get ratings. In addition, Action 9 News tried to call Best-Staton for a comment on the story and she did exactly what she was required to do by the law and stated, “No Comment.” A sitting Judge should never comment publicly on a case they resigned over and ruled upon.

Best-Staton followed the law by not commenting on this unfounded story and followed the law by dismissing the DWI because the State violated the defendant’s rights.

See the Story Below from WSOC-TV Action 9 News