3rd OFFENSE FELONY FLIGHT (while on probation) REDUCED to MISDEMEANOR RECKLESS DRIVING with 4 MONTHS in JAIL – State v. Mr. H (DMC No. 8565) (Gila County Superior Court CR2008-568): Mr. H had 2 prior Felony convictions and was on probation at the time of this offense. An officer attempted to make a traffic stop for a minor traffic infraction when Mr. H drove away at a high rate of speed. He eventually jumped out of his vehicle and ran away on foot before being arrested. Because Mr. H had 1 allegeable prior, and was on Felony Probation, he was facing up to 3.75 years in prison. We were able to show the Prosecutor that Mr. H had recently been enrolled in school and was attempting to improve his life. We also presented other Mitigating Evidence to the Judge. This allowed us to secure a plea to a Misdemeanor with 4 months in jail with “Work Release” that allowed Mr. H to attend school and work during the day. His jail was served at night.
RACING ON THE HIGHWAY REDUCED to A SPEEDING TICKET- State v. Mr. I (DMC No. 7567) (Prescott Justice Court No. 2007-090598J): Mr. I was accused of drag racing his brother in separate vehicles in between Prescott and Sedona. In reality, Mr. I was in his wife’s new Volkswagen, and he had never driven it before. The reason Mr. I pulled up next to his brother, was to roll down the window and ask him how to get the highway, because his wife did not have GPS. Mr. I then accelerated and went in front of his brother once he got his answer. An Officer had been following closely behind and mistook their actions as Drag Racing. We were able to convince the Prosecutor to knock it down to a simple Speeding Ticket, rather than a criminal infraction. This was important because Mr. I was in the United States on a Student Visa.
NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL| SUPER EXTREME DWI (.257 BAC), EXTREME DWI, DUI & DWI – State v. Mr. P (DMC NO. 12923) Jul 2, 2015 (Tempe City Court Case No. 14-036979): Mr. P was seen at The Brickyard’s area in Tempe by a Security Guard urinating inside the parking garage, and when confronted he was told to go to Jack in the Box. He apologized for his behavior and approximately 40 minutes later, the same Security Guard saw Mr. P asleep in his vehicle in a parking spot with the engine running and the air conditioner on. Police arrived and it took them several attempts to awake Mr. P.
Once he was taken to the station, he provided a blood test which revealed a .257 BAC. We presented evidence to the Jury that the State lacked proof of “Actual Physical Control” (APC). We proved that Mr. P was merely using his vehicle as “temporary shelter,” and was not actually operating his vehicle. The State argued that because his engine was on, this constituted “Driving”. The Jury did not buy the State’s argument, and Mr. P was found Not Guilty of All Charges. He was originally facing a minimum of 45 days in Jail if convicted.
TRAFFICKING AND STOLEN PROPERTY ($67,800), THEFT OF MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION and BURGLARY ALL REDUCED to PROBATION with 6 MONTHS DEFERRED JAIL – State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 9012) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2009-119368): Mr. D had stolen a trailer along with various all-terrain vehicles from his former landlord. He then painted the trailer and removed the VIN numbers on the vehicles before putting them on Craigslist for sale. The vehicles and trailers were ultimately purchased, and then it was discovered they were stolen during the titling process. Mr. D was contacted by police and arrested. His wife admitted to Mr. D’s crimes, and also the police pulled up video surveillance from a local U-Haul storage facility showing Mr. D with the trailer and vehicles. Although the original Victim and State Farm Insurance company sought prison time, we were able to convince the Judge to give Mr. A 6 months of “Deferred” jail which was later Deleted after he had paid back full restitution. Mr. D originally was looking at years in prison.
COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL | DUI (.081 BAC) – State v. Mr. W. (DMC No. 6565) (Phoenix City Court 3403327): Mr. W. was observed by a police officer exiting a Taco Bell drive-thru and driving over the curb on the way out to the street. He was subsequently stopped and processed for a DUI. He provided a blood test of .081, after he had requested a private call with his lawyer. Because the police were within 10 feet of Mr. W. during this phone call, we were able to convince the State to dismiss the DWI charge (blood alcohol .081). At bench trial to the Judge, Mr. W. was found Not Guilty of DUI (driving under the influence). He has no conviction on his record.
Not Guilty / Partial Acquittal at Jury Trial – Felony Unlawful Flight from Police Only – State v Mr. S (Jun. 8, 2015) (DMC No. 12936) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-128888): Mr. S had been out drinking one night, and then had gone through a drive-thru of a local fast food restaurant. While he was at the drive-thru, he was violently assaulted by another individual who had walked up to his vehicle. He suffered extensive bruising and lacerations on his face. He immediately took off out of the drive-thru, and was pursued by his attacker.
An Officer saw him driving very fast and pulled out onto the street to begin pursuing Mr. S. His attacker then pulled off the roadway and made a right hand turn. The Officer continued following Mr. S and he eventually pulled him over. Mr. S did not see the Police vehicle behind him because he had large speakers, which blocked his rear view out his back window. He was ultimately charged with Misdemeanor DUI and Felony Unlawful Flight from the Police per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 28-622.01. At Jury Trial, we presented all of the relevant facts involved, along with photographs of Mr. S’s injuries. The jury found Mr. S Not Guilty of the more serious Felony charge. Although he was potentially facing up to 2 years in prison, he has no felony record thanks to his Acquittal.
NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL: DUI and DWI (.112 BAC)-State v. Mr. J (DMC No. 12891) Jun. 4, 2015 (Lake Havasu Consolidated City Court MTR2014-03161): Mr. J was traveling southbound on Acoma approaching Daytona Road in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. A Police Officer claimed that Mr. J did not come to a complete stop at a stop sign. He then pulled him over and processed him for a DUI. He subsequently provided a breath sample which showed a .112 BAC.
At Jury Trial, we argued to the Jury that the stop was questionable (ie. “Pretext” stop). We also pointed out that Mr. J had acid reflex which could cause a mouth alcohol issue and falsely inflate his breath reading. In addition, there was a Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) warning that showed up on the machine 5 minutes prior to Mr. J’s breath test. Lastly, he asked to be released to get an Independent Blood Test, and was instead booked into Jail and only given a phone book. We argued that the Police Officer knew that he must be released to get the test because no hospital nurse will show up to the jail. The Jury deliberated for about 1 hour and found Mr. J Not Guilty of all charges.
NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL: DUI and DWI (.127 BAC) – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 12842) May 22, 2015 (Highland Justice Court TR2014-142693): Mr. S was stopped by DPS Officer Doucet on the US-60 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Officer claimed that Mr. S performed poorly on Field Sobriety Tests and arrested him for DUI. He was then taken to the Police Station where a blood test revealed at .127 BAC.
At Jury Trial we presented medical evidence showing that Mr. S had a knee injury which caused him serious issues with his balance and affected his Field Sobriety Tests. We also had medical evidence showing he had a natural “nystagmus,” which causes an involuntary jerking or bouncing of his eyes. This is often a sign or symptom of alcohol impairment, (if there is not a medical cause). Lastly, the Jury was presented which evidence regarding possible flaws in the blood collection and analysis. The Jury found Mr. S Not Guilty of all charges.
NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL: SUPER EXTREME DWI (.214 BAC) EXTREME DUI, DUI and DWI – State v. Ms. W (DMC No. 12692) Mar. 17, 2015 (Scottsdale City Court TR2014-015549): Ms. W was a passenger with a friend who was driving on 2nd Street between Goldwater Boulevard and 68th Street in Downtown Scottsdale. A Police Officer was seen up ahead, and the friend pulled the car over “because he was really drunk”, and didn’t want to get in trouble. Ms. W got out the car and walked to the driver’s side and got in while the driver slid over to the passenger seat. While she was sitting in the car, the engine was on and the air conditioner was on (it was the height of summer). She got on her cell phone to call to have a ride come pick them both up.
The Police contacted Ms. W and arrested her for DUI and underage drinking and driving. They claim that she was in “Actual Physical Control” (APC) of the vehicle. At Jury Trial, we presented evidence that Ms. W was merely using the car as “temporary shelter” until her ride would arrive. The Jury agreed that she was not actually operating the car, and she was found Not Guilty of these charges.
INSURANCE FRAUD/AUTO THEFT NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. P. (DMC No. 8525) (Arizona Department of Insurance Investigated): Mr. P had purchased a 1 year old Chevy 4×4 truck with lots of amenities. He had the truck for several months, when it was stolen. He reported the theft to his insurance company and filed a claim. He later received a call from Police stating the vehicle was found in Mexico. When he called his insurance company to inform them, they stated that they were already aware of this and felt that he was involved in the theft of his own vehicle in order to file an insurance claim.
After receiving a letter from the Department of Insurance Investigator, he contacted our office. We were able to show that there was no motive for Mr. P. to steal the vehicle (i.e. He was not in financial hardship, nor was there a mechanical problem with the vehicle), and that he was willing to take a lie detector test. After all documentation was forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, we met with the charging Attorney who agreed that no charges would be filed against Mr. P. We also sent a scathing letter to the Insurance company indicated that if they pursued this further that they would be sued for “bad faith”. Mr. P. has no criminal history.