INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Chris Soules and his attorneys are asking a Buchanan County judge to dismiss charges against him because they claim the law he’s accused of violating is unconstitutional.
Soules is charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death. Soules admits he rear-ended a tractor on a rural highway in April. The driver of the tractor, Kenneth Mosher, was thrown into a ditch and died at the scene. Soules called 911 and reported the accident, performed CPR on Mosher and spoke with first responders at the scene. However he is accused of leaving the scene before police arrived. Police were only able to speak to Soules only after securing an arrest warrant. His vehicle was left behind at the scene. Prosecutors say open alcohol containers were inside it.
In a filing this week in Buchanan County District Court, attorneys for Soules challenge the legality of the statute he’s accused of violating. The law in question reads: “After leaving the scene of the accident, a surviving driver . . . shall immediately return to the scene of the accident or inform the law enforcement authorities where the surviving driver can be located.” Soules’ attorneys say their client fulfilled the basic requirement by calling 911. They also claim the requirement that someone return to the scene violates the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution protecting a person from self incrimination.
Soules’ attorneys say their client cannot be held liable for violating a law that is itself a violation of the Constitution. A date to hear arguments on the motion to dismiss has not been set.
Soules is scheduled to go on trial on January 18th, 2018.