(Trinidad Guardian) The State has again amended its case against High Court judge Kevin Ramcharan.
Ramcharan was initially charged with drunk and dangerous driving after he was involved in a minor car accident in Maraval in May.
When the case came up for hearing before Magistrate Duane Murray in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday, State prosecutor Mauricia Joseph said the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was discontinuing the dangerous driving charge and substituting it with careless driving charge.
Murry read the new charge to Ramcharan, who pleaded not guilty as he had previously done with the other charges.
Under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, dangerous driving carries a $10,000 fine and five years imprisonment upon conviction. Careless driving carries a $1,000 fine. Under the legislation, drivers convicted of either offence may be temporarily barred from holding a driver’s permit by a magistrate.
The amendment was the second requested change since Ramcharan was charged.
On his first court appearance, police admitted that they had made an error in his paperwork for the drunk driving charge.
They mistakenly wrote that Ramcharan was charged under Section 70 (4) (1) of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act when he was in fact charged under Section 70 (A) (1).
Prosecutors have since been granted permission by Murray to rectify the error.
According to reports, around 11 pm on May 26, Ramcharan was driving his Land Rover Discovery when he was involved in an accident along Saddle Road, near to Pizza Boys/Church’s Chicken.
When police arrived on the scene, Ramcharan was administered a breathalyser test.
He allegedly registered a reading of 55 microgrammes of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
The charge was laid by PC Rondell Romany of the St Clair Police Station and Ramcharan was released on $15,000 bail.
Ramcharan will reappear in court on December 17, when his lawyers are expected to make preliminary submissions in the case.
Ramcharan is being represented by Gilbert Peterson, SC, and Keith Scotland.