In 2014, Robert Tarbell was charged for several crimes, one that could have put him behind bars for up to 25 years if convicted. Tarbell allegedly left his vehicle sideways on Interstate 81 near Nedrow that later caused an accident involving a bus. According to Syracuse.com, Tarbell had crashed his car on I-81 after having a few drinks at a friend’s house and left the vehicle on the highway. A Pine Hill Trailways bus later collided with the abandoned vehicle that resulted in 26 individuals sustaining injuries.
When police initiated their investigation into the accident, Tarbell first denied that the disabled vehicle belonged to him. But, after some interrogation, he admitted to having had some drinks and leaving his vehicle there. But, here’s where things went wrong. During the time police questioned Tarbell, never was he read his Miranda Rights, which generally means that any information collected can’t be used to incriminate a person. And, after asking an officer several times whether he needed to hire a criminal defense lawyer, he was not given an answer. But, because he admitted to having some drinks and leaving his vehicle, a blood test was given which later resulted in DUI charges being filed against him.
Aside from the DUI charge, Tarbell was also facing charges of assault and was accused of recklessly leaving his car in the roadway. But, in 2016, his case was placed in front of Judge Walter Hafner who ruled that the continued questioning during the interrogation violated Tarbell’s rights and that the roadside interrogation would be thrown out. Despite the fact that the Onondaga County prosecution felt that state trooper Nicholas Lotito who interrogated Tarbell was “justified in questioning the defendant without providing Miranda warnings,” the decision was made, and Tarbell’s confession was no longer a factor in the case.
The case has dragged on for years while the “Onondaga County prosecutor tried to convince appellate courts to allow Tarbell’s confession” but the Court of Appeals declined to consider the case [Source: Syracuse.com]. And in February 2018, Tarbell’s indictment was dismissed. Over the course of the case, Tarbell was free on bail, but it wasn’t until recently that it was announced that he would no longer be facing any of the charges that could have had him locked up for a significant period of time.
Why should I hire a lawyer after being involved in a bus accident?
After being involved in a bus crash in Syracuse, it is vital that you speak with a bus accident lawyer regarding your legal rights especially if you are being blamed for the accident or are facing criminal charges as a result of it.
One of the reasons why you should always consider hiring an attorney after being involved in an accident despite the role you played in it is because you have rights. And sometimes, these rights are overlooked and violated in an effort to prove you were negligent in some way or another. The truth is, law enforcement officials are required to handle cases such as the one involving Tarbell in a certain manner, and when they fail to follow the required procedures and protocol, it can impact whether a person is charged for a crime or not. In this case, it was determined the officer did not follow the procedures he was required to by law which resulted in the charges being dropped.
If you were involved in a bus collision recently in Syracuse, NY and are being held liable for causing the accident, now is the time to contact USAttorneys.com. We work with some of the top performing bus accident lawyers in the Syracuse, NY area who can represent you throughout the duration of this matter and ensure the case is being handled properly and fairly.