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Category Archives: 112 Other Vehicular Crimes Pre-Charge Victories

NOT CHARGED | VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER – State v. Mr. R. (DMC No. 11737) (Gilbert Police Department Investigated): Mr. R. was driving his car with his brother alongside him when he turned around a corner and began having a seizure.  The vehicle flipped, and Mr. R.’s brother died in the passenger seat.  Although no drugs or alcohol were involved, the case was routed to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to review for charges.  We were able to find several witnesses on the scene who stated that Mr. R. clearly looked to be having a seizure as he came around the corner.  In addition, we had Mr. R. subjected to an MRI of his brain which showed an “area of parenchymal signal abnormality”.  After almost 2 full years, the County Attorney declined to file any charges against Mr. R.

NOT CHARGED | MANSLAUGHTER – State v. Mr. T. (DMC No. 6044) (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office DR2005-095229): Mr. T. was driving along the roadway, when an elderly man rode his bicycle directly in front of Mr. T.’s his vehicle and he was struck and killed. Mr. T. was subsequently interviewed and provided a blood and urine sample. Although it came back with the presence of marijuana, we conducted interviews with other witnesses and a first officer on scene and it was determined that Mr. T. was not impaired. We convinced them not to file any charges against him for manslaughter. He did, however, receive a citation for misdemeanor DUI drugs. He was originally facing possible 7 to 21 years in prison, and ended up with a misdemeanor misdemeanor DUI drugs with 1 day of jail.

NOT CHARGED | VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. W. (DMC No. 6723) (Navajo County DPS DR2006-026637): Mr. W. owned a logging truck company, and was running loads of lumber in the Pinetop Lakeside area.   He was returning with a load of lumber at dusk, when he saw an accident scene to the side of the road.  Roughly 10 miles down the road, he was stopped by police who asked him questions of whether he could have struck somebody in the roadway without knowing it. Subsequently, a search warrant was issued and his truck was seized.

We were able to intercept the case and convinced the Detective that charges should not be filed against Mr. W.  Due to the autopsy records, the alleged victim, a Native American man with a .199 BAC, apparently was laying in the roadway.  Due to the height of Mr. W.’s truck, and the position of his lights, if he did strike and cause the death of the alleged victim, he was not at fault.  We eventually convinced the Detective to not file charges and release Mr. W.’s truck back to his possession.

NOT CHARGED/DISMISSED | VEHICLUAR MANSLAUGHTER /DUI DRUGS (Marijuana)  – State v. Mr. C. (DMC No. 10610) (Apache Junction City Court TR20120026): A motorcyclist had been involved in a minor collision at Broadway Road & Meridian Road in Apache Junction. The motorcyclist then wandered around the car as Mr. C.’s car came up and struck and killed him.  Although no impairment was observed, the police ordered a blood draw from Mr. C., which revealed the presence of marijuana.  We filed a Motion to Suppress the blood draw, which was granted and the DUI drugs charge was dismissed.  We also were able to convince the prosecutors not to file charges for manslaughter as Mr. C. was not at fault for striking the motorcyclist.  No charges for manslaughter were ever brought.

NOT CHARGED | FRAUDULENT SCHEMES ($200,000) BANK and WIRE FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING, and THEFT of MEANS of TRANSPORTATION ($85,000) NOT CHARGED due to CIVIL SETTLEMENT – State v. Mr. G. and Mrs. G. (DMC No. 6372 and 6373) (IRS and JP Morgan Chase Bank Investigated): Mr. and Mrs. G. discovered that the bank had placed $100,000 in their checking account on two successive days by mistake.  This total of $200,000 was perceived to be a “wind fall”.  Mr. and Mrs. G. immediately transferred the money out and began spending it.  When the mistake was discovered, the bank and legal authorities began to investigate.  We were able to step in and negotiate a “civil settlement” with a payment schedule, and no charges were brought against Mr. and Mrs. G.  Originally they were facing a potential of decades in prison.

 

INSURANCE FRAUD ($23,000) and THEFT of MEANS of TRANSPORTATION NOT CHARGED; FALSE REPORTING DISMISSED – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 8485) (Surprise City Court CR07-01028/Surprise Police Department DR 07096356): Mr. C had gone to Las Vegas to get married, and when he got back his truck was missing. It was found by the Peoria Police Department burned out in the desert. This was then reported to the Surprise Police Department, and Mr. C had filed a stolen vehicle report. The police and insurance company became suspicious and interviewed a friend of Mr. C’s who stated that Mr. C had another friend named “Greg” steal the vehicle and burn it so he could file an insurance claim in order to recover $23,000.

We became involved in the case, and dealt directly with the Detective on Mr. C’s behalf. The Detective filed a direct complaint into the Surprise City Court for False Reporting. We ultimately got this charged Dismissed. In addition, the Detective routed his file over to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to be reviewed for charges of Insurance Fraud and Theft of Means of Transportation. Due to our intervention, no charges were brought against Mr. C. If he would have been charged, he could have done time in prison.

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.

 

NOT CHARGED/REDUCED | VEHICULAR HOMICIDE HIT and RUN NOT CHARGED/REDUCED to MISDEMEANOR – State v. Mr. M. (DMC No. 7441) (Tempe Police Department DR06-072066/Tempe City Court 06-916379): Mr. M. was a passenger in a vehicle which ran a red light, and struck and killed a Tempe City Police Officer.  After the accident, both the driver and Mr. M. got out of the vehicle and fled.  Mr. M. came back to the scene brief time after and was questioned by police.  In this high profile case, the driver was charged with a Vehicular Homicide, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was deciding whether to charge Mr. M. with Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident.  We were able to convince them that they could not meet the required elements to prove a crime, and Mr. M. couldn’t return any quicker to assist in the investigation.  Ultimately, the County Attorney’s Office agreed to route the case to the Tempe City Attorney’s Office for a simple charge of Minor in Consumption of Alcohol.  Mr. M. was originally facing years in prison.

NOT CHARGED | VEHICULAR HOMICIDE/VEHICULAR AGGRAVATED ASSAULT NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. S. (DMC No. 7422) (Peoria Police Department Investigated): Mr. S. was accused of exiting a private drive and striking a second vehicle that was travelling at a high rate of speed.  The passenger in the second vehicle was treated for injuries, flown to the hospital and later died.  Mr. S. was subsequently investigated for DUI due to unsteadiness on his feet and an odor of alcohol.  During the pendency of a civil lawsuit, filed by the decedent’s family, we were able to show that Mr. S. had been blocked by a fence from having a clean view of the street he was pulling onto.  In addition, we were able to show that the victim’s vehicle did not have its headlights on.  This was done by examining the filaments of the broken headlights.  Because they were not burned out, this proved that they were not actually “on” at the time of the accident.  Ultimately no criminal charges were brought against Mr. S.   He was originally facing potentially Manslaughter/Negligent Homicide charges along with Aggravated Assault Dangerous charges.  He could have spent decades in prison.

 

NOT CHARGED/REDUCED | VEHICULAR 2ND DEGREE MURDER NOT CHARGED/MANSLAUGHTER and AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (dangerous) REDUCED to NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE (non dangerous) with 1 YEAR in PRISON (7 months of actual time) – State v. Mr. F. (DMC No. 11880) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2011-007282): Mr. F. was travelling on the southbound 101 in Scottsdale when another vehicle engaged an SUV in “road rage” in front of him. The original vehicle slammed on its brakes, causing Mr. F. to swerve to the right, striking the SUV. The SUV flipped and the driver subsequently died at the scene. The original vehicle took off and was designated a “phantom vehicle” by Mr. F. and several witnesses. During the course of the investigation, Mr. F. was discovered to have marijuana and a pipe on his possession. He admitted to smoking marijuana hours earlier. Blood was drawn which was revealed the presence both “active” and “inactive” marijuana metabolites. We submitted various documentation to the County Attorney’s Office and Attorney General’s Office before the case went to Grand Jury. They were originally seeking 2nd Degree Murder charges, but the Grand Jury only returned charges based on Manslaughter. During the course of vigorously defending the case, we had the County Attorney’s Office removed for “conflict”, and the Attorney General’s Office took over the case. We eventually negotiated a reduced plea to Negligent Homicide (Non Dangerous), with a stipulated 1 year in DOC. The actual amount time that Mr. F. will spend in prison is only 7 months. He was originally facing a potential 10 to 22 years on the 2nd Degree Murder and 7 to 21 years on the Manslaughter.

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