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Category Archives: 200 DUI / Vehicular Crime Victories

State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 14374) – Felony Aggravated Assault Dangerous (Car v. Police Officer) and Misdemeanor Obstructing Governmental Operations – Reduced to Attempted Aggravated Assault with Probation and 90 Days in Jail – Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2016-146209).

Mr. B was a 67-year old man who had an anxiety disorder. He had gone to Fry’s in order to pick up a prescription for his medication and some groceries. An hour later when he left the Fry’s store, he got into his vehicle and drove towards the exit, where he saw an Officer parked diagonally blocking the entrance to the street. The officer was there working on a different case/arrest.

As Mr. B approached the Officer, he asked the Officer to move his car and the Officer said no. The Officer claimed that Mr. B was screaming at him. The officer then stated that Mr. B got into his car and slowly drove at him and then accelerated rapidly. The Officer claimed he jumped to the side and pulled out his firearm, at which point Mr. B stopped his car. He then came up to Mr. B and holstered his weapon and asked for Mr. B’s license. Per the Officer, Mr. B then put his car in reverse and attempted to flee again. Mr. B was stopped by other Officers in the parking lot and he refused to get out of the vehicle. He was then forcibly removed and arrested for Felony Aggravated Assault Dangerous on a Police Officer and Misdemeanor of Obstructing Governmental Operations.

Once we became involved, we retrieved all of Mr. B’s medical records in order to present them as mitigation to the Prosecutor. In addition, we interviewed all of the other Officers involved, and the stories were not matching up. We also presented evidence of his military service in Vietnam and his long-term employment with the United States Postal Service. Mr. B had also performed numerous prior good acts of community support, he had strong family contributions and responsibilities, he lacked prior bad acts, he had good character reputation, he was filled with remorse, and he behaved admirably during his pretrial phase.

The Prosecutor ultimately agreed to a plea of Attempted Aggravated Assault with a 90-day jail sentence. At Sentencing, the Prosecutor wanted 3 years of Probation, and the victim/Police Officer wanted 90 days of flat jail time. The Judge ultimately only imposed 2 years of Probation and allowed the 90 days to be served in the infirmary due to Mr. B’s health conditions. Originally, Mr. B was facing 10.5 to 21 years in prison  if he were to be convicted on the Aggravated Assault Dangerous on a Police Officer.

Mr. L had been suffering from stress-related depression and other mental illness issues. He was in a volatile relationship with his girlfriend and they had often argued. After one of their nights of arguing, he called the next morning and told her that she better come over to his house or he was going to choke her. He then called back again and told her he was going to cut himself and start bleeding if she didn’t come over. Finally, he called back and said he was going to come and find her and choke her.

His girlfriend decided to leave home and drive to work, and while on the way she recognized Mr. L’s vehicle pull up behind her. Eventually his vehicle got in front of her and he swerved at her trying to strike her. He did hit her car and both vehicles ended up falling down a ravine on the side of the road. He then left his vehicle and began choking his girlfriend for approximately 30 seconds until other witnesses ran up and stopped the incident. He was ultimately charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Vehicular Aggravated Assault Dangerous.

After we became involved with the case, we gathered up all the medical records regarding Mr. L’s mental illness. We also had a neuro-psychological evaluation conducted to show that he had ongoing issues which could be successfully treated. After all interviews were completed, a Deviation letter was prepared and sent to Prosecution. Speaking with the Prosecutor, we got him to agree to drop the case down to a Class 6 Undesignated Felony for Endangerment and a Class 6 Undesignated Felony for Aggravated Assault. At sentencing, the Judge only gave two years of probation and did not order any jail time. Initially, Mr. L was facing decades in prison.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – DUI & DWI ( .109 BAC) – State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 16066) – Dec 6, 2019 – Prescott City Court (Case No. TR2018-000345): Mr. B was seen in the city of Prescott leaving a local beer festival. The officer claimed that Mr. B failed to stop at a stop sign while traveling north on Mount Vernon Street. Once he was stopped, the officer smelled an odor of alcohol and a DUI investigation ensued. Mr. B was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station.

Once he was there, he was given a breath test which showed .087 blood alcohol concentration and a blood test that showed his blood alcohol concentration was .101. At trial, we were able to suppress the Intoxilyzer reading due to the device being taken out of service for an unknown reason. The police could not explain in the maintenance logs why that machine had to be removed, and the judge suppressed the evidence of the two breath tests. As to the blood test, the temperature storage record was not produced at trial, which raised doubts as to the validity of the blood reading. In addition, the auto-pipettor pulled more than 100 microliters, which had the potential to artificially inflate Mr. B’s reading. Lastly, Mr. B performed extremely well on the officer’s body camera video, and it showed that the officer was not being truthful when he was testifying. The jury came back with a Complete Acquittal on all charges.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – Super Extreme DWI (.224 BAC), Extreme DWI, DUI and DWI – State v. Ms. D (DMC No. 15986) – Nov 5, 2019 – West Mesa Justice Court (Case No. TR2018-161434): Ms. D had been at work, at a local hotel, speaking with a co-worker whose dog had recently drowned in a swimming pool.  While they were talking they decided to have a couple glasses of wine after work.  On her way home at the 101 and McDowell, she was pulled over by a DPS Officer.  The Officer smelled alcohol and subsequently put her through various Field Sobriety Tests and arrested her.

When she arrived at the station, she was asked to provide a sample of blood.  That blood sample came back with a .224 BAC.  During Jury Trial, the Prosecutor failed to illicit the exact time of the stop during the Officer’s testimony.  After the State rested, we made a Motion to Suppress the blood alcohol reading because there was no proof that the blood was drawn within two hours of actually driving.  The Judge agreed with our Directed Verdict motion and entered a verdict of Not Guilty on the Super Extreme DWI, the Extreme DWI and the DWI.  After the defense trial was put on regarding the remaining charge of DWI, the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty on that charge also.  At that point, the Judge even entered a finding of Not Responsible for the original swerving ticket that Ms. D was cited with.  This resulted in a Complete Acquittal of all criminal charges and a Dismissal of the only civil charge that was remaining.

Not Guilty / Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – DUI Drugs (Clonazepam), DUI (BAC .061) and Hit & Run – State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 15800) – Jul 16, 2019 – Apache Junction Justice Court (Case No. TR2018-00719): Mr. B had been driving in the area of Hunt Highway and Mountain Vista Blvd.  He was cut off by another vehicle and side swiped the guard rail. He continued driving home, and was very shaken up by the whole incident.  Once he got home, he had a glass of wine and took some of his medication for anxiety.  Later on that day, Officers arrived and accused him of Hit & Run, and put him through various field sobriety tests.  He was ultimately arrested and taken down to the station.

While down at the station he provided a blood sample which showed his Blood Alcohol Concentration to be a .061, and the anti-anxiety drug of Clonazepam was also found in his system.  Both the police and the prosecutors did not believe that the alcohol and medication were consumed after he got home.  In addition, they told Mr. B it was his duty to report the fact that he had struck a guard rail.  At Jury Trial, Mr. B testified as to what had really occurred and the Jury believed him. The State only tried to claim that he must be untruthful, because they thought it was beyond the realm of possibility that he actually drank some wine and took medication when he was home and not driving.  Of course, the Jury saw that the State’s arguments were ridiculous, and he was found Not Guilty of all charges, including the Hit & Run.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – Super Extreme DWI, Extreme DWI DUI & DWI (.268 BAC) – State v. Ms. G (DMC No. 15767) – Jun 5, 2019 – Surprise City Court (Case No. TR2018-00417):  Ms. G was parked in her SUV on the north side of Cactus Road and various vehicles were driving past her as she would wave them by.  An Officer arrived in order to perform a “motorist assist”.  When he made contact with Ms. G, she smelled strongly of alcohol and he found an open bottle of vodka in the car.  Ultimately, she was placed under arrest after doing field sobriety tests and was taken to the police station.  When she was given a blood test it revealed a .268 blood alcohol (almost 3 ½ times the legal limit). Although she had protested that her car was out of gas, and she was simply sitting in the car, they still cited her with the Super Extreme DWI charge.

At trial, we were able to show that she had indeed run out of gas, and then sat in her car and drank the bottle of vodka while she was parked.  We argued to the jury that her vehicle was merely a “temporary shelter”, while she was waiting for her ride to arrive.  Ultimately, the jury agreed and returned a verdict of Not Guilty on all charges.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury trial – DUI & DWI (.123 BAC) – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 15766) – May 31, 2019 – Tempe City Court (Case No. 19-000913):  Mr. S worked the night shift for his job and usually slept in the day.  On this particular day, he stayed up and did some maintenance work putting flooring into his house.   He then took a nap at around noon time.  Later on he woke up at around 6 o’clock got up and got ready and met his friends at the Cornish Pasty in Mesa, Arizona. While he was there he drank 2 to 3 beers.

He left with a friend of his and drove her car as a designated driver.  He was subsequently pulled over by an undercover Officer at about 12:30 a.m.  The Officer said that he was weaving into the bike lane, and Mr. S responded that he was distracted by his passenger trying to give him directions to her house.  He was pulled out of the car and asked to do field sobriety tests.

While he was doing these tests, he performed very well.  He kept his foot up for all 30 seconds during the one leg stand test.  In addition, he conducted a walk and turn test in which the officer said he had stepped off the line numerous times.  At jury trial we were able to show the officer’s chest cam video proving that Mr. S had not stepped off the line at all.  In addition, all of the field tests showed that he looked rock solid.   He later provided a breath test which produced a reading of .123 BAC.

Because his field sobriety tests were done so well, they did not match up with the .123 BAC reading.  We also had our Expert Witness attack the validity of the breath test, as he pointed out numerous flaws in the breath testing science and the maintenance of that particular device.  Ultimately, the jury went out and deliberated and came back and returned a verdict of Not Guilty on all charges.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – DUI & DWI (.111 BAC) – State v. Ms. H (DMC No. 15700) – Mar 28, 2019 – Chandler City Court (Case No. 18-Z323921):  A civilian witness was traveling along South Tamarron Way in Chandler, Arizona when he saw a vehicle hit a pole after spinning out of control, raising a large cloud of dust.  By the time the civilian witness had come back to the scene, he had found Ms. H’s car empty with the door open.  When Officer Barker of the Chandler Police Department arrived, he interviewed the civilian witness.  The civilian witness did not see who was driving the car, and didn’t even know if the driver was a male or female.

As the Officer was finishing up, a gentleman came back to the scene with Ms. H.  This gentleman was Ms. H’s father.  Both had made statements to the officer that Ms. H was having shifting issues with her car, and that it had spun out of control.  The officer observed signs and symptoms of alcohol consumption, and began questioning Ms. H.  He ultimately arrested her for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and having the car accident.

At trial, the civilian witness testified that he did not see who driving the car.  In addition, the Officer testified that there were no injuries on Ms. H, or any other evidence that it would indicated that she was actually the driver of the car.  In fact, he admitted that the gentleman with her could have been the driver of the car.  Ultimately, all of those statements were suppressed due to lack of “Corpus Delicti”.  The Prosecutor had no further case and, in essence, they were forced to concede that they would lose the trial.  Before the Judge issued a Directive Verdict of Not Guilty, the Prosecutor filed a Motion to Dismiss all charges.  Because the jury had been sworn, double jeopardy attached and these charges are now gone forever in regards to Ms. H.

(Dec. 6, 2018) NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL – SUPER EXTREME DWI (.235 BAC) & EXTREME DWI, DUI & DWI – State v. Ms. L (DMC No. 15440) (Scottsdale City Court TR2017-031349): At 2:53 in the morning, a Scottsdale Police Officer was patrolling the parking lot of Nordstrom’s Rack located in North Scottsdale.  The officer observed a vehicle that had driven up on the sidewalk in front of the Nordstrom’s Rack. The vehicle had its engine running, headlights and running lights illuminated.  Inside of the vehicle was Ms. L, who was asleep and her car was in drive.

When Ms. L was awakened, she did not recall how she got there.  She subsequently provided a blood test, which revealed a .235 BAC.  After she was released from custody, she found out that her former boss and his girlfriend had driven her to that location in their car. The three of them were at a holiday party where Ms. L had become extremely intoxicated.  Ms. L’s boss’s girlfriend began to yell at him, and he put her inside of the vehicle with the engine on and the heater running. He left a verbal message for one of her friends to come and get her. At the Scottsdale City Court trial, the boss came in and testified that he indeed and placed her in the vehicle and then started the engine. Since nobody knows how the car got up on the sidewalk or why it was in drive, the jury had reasonable doubt as to Ms. L actually operating the vehicle.  They found that she was not in “Actual Physical Control” and she was acquitted of all charges.

(Jul. 31, 2018) NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL – DUI & DWI (.142 BAC) – State v. Ms. M (DMC No. 15419) (Phoenix City Court 5260782): At 11:27 at night, two Phoenix Police Officers responded to a radio call of a suspicious vehicle at Happy Valley Road and 43rdAvenue.  When they arrived, they observed Ms. M sitting in her car, with her engine running and her phone charging.  She had a flat tire, and they surmised she had hit a curb. She told them she was waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

The officers then made her do Field Sobriety Tests, even though she was 65 years old.  This violates the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) rules, and the tests were shown to the jury not be valid.  Ultimately she provided a blood test which revealed a .142 BAC.  We argued to the jury that the State could not prove the actual time of driving, nor could they prove she was in “Actual Physical Control” of her vehicle.  We argued that she was merely using it as temporary shelter while waiting for a tow truck to arrive.  The jury acquitted her on all charges.

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