AV Preeminent
The Florida Bar

Little People, Big Defense?

Matt Roloff, the size star of TLC’s reality show “Little People, Big World” about a family of little people that include Roloff, his wife and one son who face numerous challenges as little people in a big world (the family also includes two normal sized children) is currently in trial on one charge of misdemeanor driving under the influence of intoxicants last summer. Roloff, who is 4 foot tall and regularly uses crutches to walk, was pulled over on a rural road in Washington County, Oregon where Roloff lives after a deputy noticed a white van make a wide turn after leaving a local pub and drive over the yellow double line a few times. Police claim they immediately noticed an odor of alcohol and asked Roloff to step out of the van. Roloff, who was driving his wife’s van, reportedly failed sobriety tests and refused a breath test. Police deputies on the scene noted that Roloff was argumentative and uncooperative with police during their investigation.

Roloff’s attorney, Robert Themmel, however argued to jurors today that Roloff reacted “the only way he knew how to a deputy who wouldn’t listen to him”. During opening statements, Thuemmel told the jury: “He is a man whose entire life has brought him to a place where, to stand up for himself, has taught him to be a little bit more assertive, more combative.” Adding: “He speaks out more for himself than some.” Thuemmel also intends to argue that Roloff, who admitted to having one beer that evening, was having problems reaching the pedal because he was not used to the height of the pedal extensions in his wife’s van and that he refused the breath test because he did not “trust” the deputy.

The jury is expected to deliberate today.

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