JERSEYVILLE - Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten has now been cleared of both DUI and Reckless Driving charges.
In the end, Goetten did receive an improper lane usage ticket and that will require only court supervision, his attorney Bryce Joiner of Joiner Law in Edwardsville, said.
Joiner said Goetten’s license is completely valid and there will be nothing on it permanently.
The order on December 1, 2020, read: “There was insufficient evidence for the investigating officer to have reasonable grounds to believe the defendant (Mr. Goetten) was driving under the influence,” Joiner said after that ruling. “This order was entered December 7, 2020, after a two-hour hearing. After this order was entered, the prosecution filed a new charge of reckless driving. This new charge stems from the same incident leading to Mr. Goetten’s original arrest.”
With the Reckless Driving charge, the judge said there was not a case of Reckless Driving and it was dismissed, Joiner said.
Joiner said he thought all along Goetten would be exonerated for the DUI and reckless driving charges. He was upset the case proceeded to court because he said there was not proper evidence and was very satisfied at the recent rulings.
"In nearly 10 years of defending DUI cases, I've never seen a weaker case pursued by the prosecution. As for the arrest, after communicating via text with the sheriff, the arresting deputy placed Mr. Goetten into custody within 4 minutes of stopping him, never asking him where he had been or if he had even consumed alcohol.
"This case never should have been charged and certainly never should have gone to hearing. My clients remained calm and resolute through this process that has no doubt caused injury to his reputation. His goal was always to clear his name and that's what these rulings represent. While I have major concerns about the way this case was brought and handled, my client wishes to put this in the rear view and move forward. Mr. Goetten continues to dedicate himself as a public servant to the people of Jersey County as well as having an unwavering respect for his fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement."
Attorney Josh Evans, who also represented Ben, had this statement: “The evidence was so weak against Ben that no rational person could conclude he was driving under the influence in my opinion. I am happy with the result. The case should have been resolved with a ticket for improper lane usage and Mr. Goetten should have went on his way that evening.”