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Category Archives: 200 DUI / Vehicular Crime Victories

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.

COMPLETE ACQUITTAL/NOT GUILTY at JURY TRIAL (DUI & DWI (.114 BAC)- Dec. 4, 2018 – State v. Ms. H (DMC No. 14932) (Mesa City Court No. 2017-047673): Ms. M was driving at 4:00 in the afternoon near the area of Power Road and the 202 when an Officer stopped her for “drifting within her lane”. When Ms. H was contacted, she was wearing nothing but a Bikini and flip flops. She had been at the river and had only drank a couple of beers. The Officer still made her do all of the Field Sobriety Tests on the side of the road, in a bikini and flip flops. She was very embarrassed and nervous, as people driving by were witnessing this humiliating scene. Eventually, she was arrested and taken to the Mesa Police station where her blood results showed a .114 BAC.

 

At Jury Trial, we explained to the Jury that any performance issues during the Field Sobriety Tests were due to her nervousness and her state of dress. The original phlebotomist who drew Ms. H’s blood stated that he drew the blood from her right arm; he was very adamant about this. During the trial, photos from Ms. H’s Snapchat posts were moved into evidence for the Jury to see. In the photos it clearly showed that her right arm had no mark on it whatsoever, yet her left arm had a giant hematoma (bruise) where the Officer had drawn the blood. This threw everything that the Officer said into question. Lastly, the actual criminalist who tested the blood did not show up to trial and the prosecutor used a surrogate criminalist to testify on behalf of the original criminalist. We pointed out to the Jury that the assumptions being made by the surrogate criminalist were “everything was done absolutely properly by the original criminalist.” Ultimately, the Jury did not believe the State’s case and a verdict of Not Guilty was returned on all charges.

 

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL- (4COUNTS) FELONY AGGRAVATED DUI & DWI (.117 BAC) – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14803) DEC 4, 2017 (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2016-109074): Mr. S had 2 prior Misdemeanor DUI convictions, 1 prior Felony Conviction and was on Felony Probation when he was arrested for a second offense aggravated DUI. He was facing a minimum of 4 and a half years if he were to be convicted at trial. The State initially offered 3 years of prison, and later reduced the offer to 8 months of prison. Mr. S turned down the offer because he was not driving the vehicle.

At trial, against the Maricopa County Attorney Office’s top Vehicular Crimes Prosecutor, we utilized the officer’s AXON video camera’s footage (which they wear on their bodies). We were able to show that while Mr. S was being arrested and searched, only his watch, wallet and cell phone were recovered and placed on the hood of his wife’s vehicle. The car keys were never found. As he was being arrested, the cars panic button went off momentarily (for 3 beeps), and nobody could determine who triggered the vehicle’s alarm. At trial, we were able to show through witnesses that his wife actually had the keys and she had triggered the alarm.  Mr. S had never driven the vehicle, and was merely seated inside the vehicle using the cell phone when officers arrived on scene. We were able to show that the officer’s testimony that she saw him drive 1-2 feet was not credible.

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL/DUI & DWI (.143 BAC) – State v. Ms. P (DMC No. 14776) OCT 23, 2017 (West Mesa Justice Court TR2017-101500): Ms. P was traveling on the 101 near  Shea Boulevard when she was alleged to have been driving 90 miles per hour. She was pulled over by Salt River Police Department officers and subsequently investigated for DUI. During the one leg stand, she was able to keep her foot up 26 seconds out of the 30 seconds requested. In addition, when she got to the station, 3 breath tests were given, which included a deficient .137 reading, followed by a .143 and a .133 reading.

At Jury Trial, we were able to show that the readings were so drastically different that there must have been a problem with the breath testing device. In addition, we presented expert witness testimony that if an individual can stand with their foot raised off the ground for more than 25 seconds, they are below a .08 BAC. Lastly, we were able to impeach the officer during her testimony and we were able to have her admit to lying about previous testimony. The Jury came back within 15 minutes and found Ms. P Not Guilty of all charges.

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL/DUI & DWI (.105 BAC) – State v. Mr. H (DMC No. 14708) AUG 25, 2017 (Florence Justice Court TR2016-000336): Mr. H had previous DUI’s and vehicular Aggravated Assault convictions. Although his 1 previous felony had been expunged, he did have 2 prior DUI convictions in his lifetime. In this particular instance, he was pulled over for allegedly not signaling prior to 100 feet of making a right turn. The officer also claimed that Mr. H went through a stop sign without coming to a full stop. He was subsequently investigated for DUI and produced a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .105.

At Trial, we were able to call into question the officers actual observations. It appeared that the officer pulled over Mr. H as a “pre text” stop, in which he was just looking for possible DUI drivers. We were also able to show the Jury that he performed very well on his Field Sobriety Tests and that he had only consumed 4 beers throughout the entire night. This called the accuracy of the blood test into question. He was ultimately found Not Guilty of all charges.

NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL, DUI and DUI (.082 BAC) – State v. Ms. S (DMC No. 14160) Jan. 10, 2017 (Phoenix City Court No. 5080338): Ms. S was traveling in her car northbound to get on the 51 freeway at Colter Street, when a motorcycle had come through the intersection. She struck the motorcycle and his passenger, and the Police were called. Ms. S indicated that she had the green light, and the motorcyclist stated that he had the green light. The motorcyclist was placed under arrest for DUI, then an investigation was began by Phoenix PD on Ms. S. The only sobriety field test given to Ms. S was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), which showed only 4 of 6 cues. No other tests were given. She was taken to the station which she provided a blood test which revealed a .082 BAC.

At Jury Trial, we were able to show that the accident was not her fault. In addition, we attacked the blood testing device and argued that it was not properly calibrated and was revealing a blood alcohol reading which was too high. The Jury deliberated and returned charged of Not Guilty on all counts!

Mr. B was a student at Northern Arizona University, and he had several of his dorm mates in his car when he pulled up to Sechrist Hall. Officers made contact and began a dui investigation. After Mr. B was arrested, a small film canister with an amount of marijuana was found inside. He also provided a blood test which revealed a .131 bac.

He was ultimately charged with dui drugs and hired our firm to represent him in the flagstaff justice court. Because mr. B was facing a dui drugs charge, he would have lost his license for 1 full year if he would have been convicted. We were able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the dui drugs charge, and instead have mr. B simply pled to a regular alcohol dui with a minimum of 1 day in jail. Originally the prosecutor wanted 5 days in jail, but we presented mitigation evidence, along with mr. B’s school schedule in order to convince the prosecutor to offer the minimum 1 day in jail.

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