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Category Archives: 1 DUI / Vehicular Crime Jury Trial Complete Acquittals

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – Reckless Driving – State v. Ms. S (DMC No. 16918) DEC 8, 2021 – (Scottsdale City Court No. TR2021-008788).

Ms. S was coming from her home in North Scottsdale to her job in central Scottsdale where she served as a CFO.  As she was driving in the middle lane down Shea Road heading toward 92nd Street, another car was revving its engine and continually speeding next to Ms. S’s vehicle at a close distance.  She became concerned, and sped up in order the pass the vehicle and get into the left lane.

At this time, a Scottsdale police officer was on a motorcycle and was conducting radar speed enforcement.  Subsequently, he pulled Ms. S over and stated that she was travelling 78 miles per hour in a 45 zone, and he then cited her for Criminal Speeding per ARS 28-701.02 (21 miles or more than the speed limit), and for a criminal Reckless Driving per ARS 28-693 (reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property).  The Criminal Speeding charge carried 3 points on a person’s license if convicted, and the Reckless Driving charge carried 8 points on a person’s license if convicted.

Ms. S then retained our services to challenge the Reckless Driving charge.  During our investigation efforts, while we were interviewing the Officer, it was discovered that there were high-power tension lines over that area where he was conducting his radar enforcement.  This could adversely affect his reading.  In addition, we challenged the calibration of his radar device.  In front of a Jury, all of these issues were brought forward and they ultimately returned a verdict of Not Guilty at Jury Trial.  As to the Criminal Speeding ticket, that was decided by the judge in what is known as a “bench trial,” which was conducted at the same time as the Jury Trial.  Ultimately, Ms. S paid a small fine and only had 3 points on her license.  Because she was found Not Guilty at Jury trial, this incident did not adversely affect her standing as a CFO of her company.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – DUI and DWI (.088 BAC) – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 16782) – JUN 17, 2021 – (Phoenix City Court No. 5354541).

Mr. M had gone to dinner with his wife at Durant’s restaurant, where they ate a full meal and had a bottle of wine.  He then went with his wife to watch the Bob Dylan concert in downtown Phoenix.  On the way home, an Officer claimed at an off-ramp on theI-17 that Mr. M had run through a red light.  He subsequently pulled Mr. M over, and took him to a DUI Task Force van.

The only test he gave in the field was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (i.e., the eye test).  During that test he found only four out of the six cues necessary to determine if somebody was impaired by alcohol.  In addition, Mr. M was 61 years old and had various physical problems.  The Officer stated that the reason he only gave the HGN test was that they were near heavy traffic on the freeway.  He also tried to use that as an excuse as to why he did not find all cues during the eye test.

In front of a Jury, we were able to demonstrate all of these flaws, along with having proof that Mr. M had drank only half a bottle of wine, which would not have allowed for his blood alcohol content to be above the legal limit.  We discredited the State’s BAC test of .088, and the Jury came back Not Guilty on all charges.  This was very important, because Mr. M worked at a manufacturing plant that had various government contracts, and required all employees to have clean criminal records.

Not Guilty, Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – DUI and DWI (.107 BAC) – State v. Ms W – (DMC No. 16810) – JUL 29, 2021 – (Surprise City Court No. TR2019-00313).

Ms W was coming home from a restaurant in Surprise by the name of Eagles.  She had approximately two glasses of wine with dinner and was traveling 35 miles per hour in a 45-mile zone.  The Surprise Police Officer claimed that she ran a light, and then he followed her for almost two miles.  He claimed that when she made a turn, she struck a curb, and that’s when he pulled her over.  On the citation, the Officer put the time of driving as 10:23 at night (instead of 9:45).  When he conducted field sobriety tests, he received only 4 cues out of 6 on the HGN (eye test).  He subsequently placed Ms W under arrest and she produced a breath test, which resulted in a .107 blood alcohol concentration.

After Ms W hired our law office, we began our investigation.  Ms W was 72 years old at the time she was stopped, and had various medical issues.  At Trial, all of these issues were brought up, which nullified most of the field sobriety tests.  In addition, we were able to show that traveling at 10 miles below the speed limit did not constitute one of the 24 night-time indicators of DUI impairment as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Ultimately, the Jury came back Not Guilty on all charges, and Ms W was greatly relived that she did not have to spend time in jail.

Not Guilty/Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial – Super Extreme DWI (.289 BAC), Extreme DWI, DUI and DWI – State v. Ms G (DMC No. 16890) NOV 18, 2021 – (Peoria City Court (Case NO. TR2019-000322).

Ms G had dinner and several drinks at Legends Sports Bar in Peoria, Arizona.  She had medical issues which caused her feet to swell, so she left the bar and went to her parked car, turned on the engine in order to run the heater while she had her shoes off.  Her son worked across the street at the Lowe’s Department Store, and she was waiting for him to get off work.  He was then going to drive them both home.

It turned out that somebody had seen her leave the bar and thought she was intoxicated.  This person had called 911 and reported that there was a “drunk woman inside of her running car.”  The police then showed up and began the DUI investigation against Ms G.  Ms G explained she was a nurse, she was merely waiting for her son to get off work, and that she had called him and he could explain everything.  The police still arrested her for DUI and claimed that she was “in Actual Physical Control” of her vehicle.

She was subsequently taken to a police station where a blood draw was conducted.  Her blood results revealed a .289 blood alcohol content. She initially had hired another attorney in town, who had reviewed the case and had advising her to plead guilty to a super extreme DUI.  She then contacted our firm and we explained that she was not in Actual Physical Control because she intended to use her vehicle as temporary shelter while waiting for her son.  There was no indication that she ever intended to drive.  Although the prosecutor was stubborn, and would not listen to us, we set the case to Trial.  After a two-day trial, the Jury returned Not Guilty verdicts on all counts.  This was very important, as Ms G was a registered nurse, and a DUI conviction could have cost her her license.

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.

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