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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A woman has been acquitted of DUI after a San Francisco jury determined she needed to drive in order to get away from her abusive boyfriend.
25-year-old Marlise Paulo of Oroville was bruised and bleeding from her head when she was stopped by a highway patrol officer after she turned the wrong way onto Bryant Street in San Francisco in September.
The officer suspected domestic abuse, but at first Paulo claimed she accidentally hit her head against a wall.
City Deputy Public Defender Abe Abed said the woman was fleeing from her boyfriend who was on felony probation. Abed said the woman was the real crime victim and was acting in an emergency situation.
“It did turn out there was actually an extensive history of abuse and that this wasn’t the first time she’s actually covered for this man,” Abed said.
Abed said people can break the law in order to escape extreme danger.
“She avoided possibly more of an injury or possibly death,” he said.
At her DUI trial, Paulo testified that before she was arrested her boyfriend threw her into a night stand and threatened to kill her as she tried to drive away.
Paulo has since left her boyfriend, according to Abed.