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

(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!

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL| DUI & DWI (.127 BAC)– State v. Mr. C (DMC NO. 13098) Sep 3, 2015 (Tempe City Court Case NO. 14-048715): Mr. C was seen at 1:30 in the morning eastbound on Rio Salado Parkway approaching Scottsdale Road in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe Police Sergeant Cullins stated that as the light was changing from yellow to red, he was slowing down and Mr. C passed him on his left side and went through a red light. After Mr. C was pulled over, he was put through various Field Sobriety Tests and the Officer arrested him for DUI.

At Trial, we presented evidence that the Officer saw only 4 of 6 Cues of HGN (The Eye Test). We presented evidence that Mr. C had a natural Nystagmus which causes his eyes to involuntary jerk side to side. Therefore, the State’s HGN test was invalid. In addition, we showed that there was evidence of potential “mouth alcohol,” which could have affected the breath testing device. At the end of the Jury Trial, it took only 20 minutes for the Jury to come back with a Not Guilty verdict on all charges.

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL| EXTREME DWI (.157 BAC), DUI & DWI with ACCIDENT – State v. Mr. S (DMC NO. 13054) Aug 26, 2015 (Encanto Justice Court Case NO. TR2014-153715): Mr. S had been with his wife at the Twin Peaks Brewery in order to watch a Cardinals game. They had eaten lunch and had some beers before they left. As they were driving on the I-10 freeway and exiting an off-ramp at 7th Street in Phoenix, he collided with a vehicle who stopped midway through a right hand turn. Once the Police arrived, Mr. S was put through various Field Sobriety Test’s and performed flawlessly. He was ultimately given a breath test with revealed a .157 BAC.

At Jury Trial we were able to show that the alleged BAC reading must have been flawed due to the perfect performance of Mr. S on his Field Sobriety Test’s. Both the arresting Officer and our expert agreed that there must be something wrong with the reading. The Prosecutor tried to argue (unsuccessfully) that the Officer wasn’t very good at his observations during the Field Sobriety Test’s. In other words, the Prosecutor tried to say he was a deficient Officer and that the Field Sobriety Test’s results should be discounted. The Jury did not buy that argument and found Mr. S Not Guilty of All Charges. He was facing 30 days minimum in Jail.

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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.

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