For DUI/DWI attorneys, a “win” for the defense doesn’t always mean that the charges were dropped by the prosecutor, that the case was dismissed by a judge, or that the defendant was acquitted at trial. In some cases, “mitigating the damage” by seeking a conviction on a less serious charges and/or more lenient sentencing is the more appropriate focus and should be considered a victory as well.

Mitigation seems to be the focus of Amy Locane-Bovenizer’s defense as the jury selection process got underway this week in preparation for the former “Melrose Place” star’s Oct. 1 trial date. For New Jersey readers who haven’t been tracking this DWI/DUI story, Locane-Bovenizer has been charged with aggravated manslaughter and assault by auto in connection with a fatal car accident that occurred in Mercer County in 2010.

According to reports, the prosecution intends to prove Locane-Bovenizer was speeding with a blood alcohol content that was more than three times the legal limit when her SUV collided with a sedan that had slowed to pull into a driveway. Prosecutors also intend to use computer data from the “black box” event recorders in each vehicle to establish the speeds and throttle positions at the moment of impact, and have reportedly received testimony from witnesses who claim Locane-Bovenizer was laughing to herself after the crash.

Despite the seriousness of those allegations and an unsuccessful attempt to keep the “black box” data from being introduced into evidence, Locane-Bovenizer’s defense attorneys expressed confidence about their case moving forward.

One defense/mitigating factor/explanation for Locane-Bovenizer’s driving that night is that she had been being chased by another driver only minutes before the crash. That chase, her lawyers say, ensued after she rear-ended a minivan and attempted to drive away.

As for Locane-Bovenizer’s alleged actions and statements after the accident, her DWI/DUI defense attorneys say the collision left her unable to understand what she was doing or saying at the time and were also highly critical of the treatment Locane-Bovenizer received from police and medical personnel after the crash.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Trial of ‘Melrose Place’ actress accused in Montgomery drunken driving crash to begin,” Eugene Paik, Sept. 9, 2012