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Category Archives: 2A Vehicular Crimes Bench Trial Victories

NOT RESPONSIBLE/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL: FAILURE to YIELD to AVOID A COLLISION – State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 6074) (Scottsdale City Court TR2006-000401): Mr. B was in his car with his wife at Stagecoach Road approaching Pima Road in Scottsdale, Arizona. After they had looked both ways, he made a right hand turn slowly, and another car struck him. The driver of the other car had a suspended license. At Bench Trial, we argued that the other driver did not have his headlights on and also was not paying attention as there was no skid on the roadway. The Judge agreed with us and Dismissed the charge of Failure to Control Speed to Avoid a Collision. Because of the seriousness of the accident, Mr. B would have been put at risk for an extremely large civil settlement if he would have lost at trial.

NOT RESPONSIBLE/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL: SPEEDING – State v. Ms. C (DMC No. 9559) (San Tan Justice Court CT2010-254278): Ms. C was a school bus driver for the Higley School District. As she was transporting kids home, there was a vehicle illegally parked in front of a Fire Hydrant that was also sticking out in the roadway. Ms. C made a turn and apparently the back of her bus scrapped the other car. The incident was reported by one of the children on the bus, as Ms. C was unaware there had been an accident. At Bench Trial, we were able to show the Judge that the other vehicle was illegally parked near the school and had, in essence, placed itself in harm’s way. The Judge agreed and the charge of Failure to Control Speed to Avoid an Accident was Dismissed.

NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL: RECKLESS DRIVING – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 8519) (Scottsdale City Court TR2008-028574): Mr. S was a juvenile who was attending Desert Mountain High School and was driving out of the parking lot as school let out.  An off-duty Police Officer who acted as a Security Officer was attempting to direct traffic for 2 exits simultaneously. Mr. S began to turn right when the Officer stepped in front of his car to waive him off. As Mr. S was going 3-5mph, he struck the Officer and ran over his foot. At Bench Trial, we were able to show the Judge that this was not an intentional act and he was not in “reckless disregard” for the safety of another person. The Judge agreed with us and found Mr. S Not Guilty of Reckless Driving.

NOT GUILTY/ PARTIAL ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL: SUPER EXTREME DUI (.205 BAC) Only- State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 9571) (Phoenix City Court No. 3981751): Mr. B was in Phoenix, Arizona when he was served pulling up to the intersection at 51st Avenue and Bell Road. At the left hand green turn arrow Mr. B’s vehicle did not move, and the Officer then pulled him over. After a DUI investigation, he was taken to a DUI van in which he provided a .205 BAC blood sample. Because he was above a .200, he was charged with Super Extreme DUI along with other charges. At Bench Trial, we were able to argue that the variance of the machine would not allow a verdict of guilty beyond reasonable doubt as to Super Extreme DUI charge. The Judge agreed, and Mr. B was found Not Guilty of the Super Extreme DUI. He was, however guilty of the regular Extreme DUI and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

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.

PARTIAL AQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL | Failure to yield/serious injury accident – State v. Ms. L. (DMC No. 8780) (Scottsdale City Court TR2008-034898): Ms. L. has been out earlier and had drank one beer.  When she was arriving home, she turned left into her apartment complex.  A motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed slammed into the side of her car and the passenger was tossed and seriously injured.  Ms. L. was charged with Failure to Yield/Causing a Serious Injury Accident and Speeding.  At trial we were able to obtain a Not Guilty verdict on the most serious charge of Failing to Yield and Causing a Serious Injury Accident.  She was only convicted of a civil Speeding ticket and given a small fine.

PARTIAL ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL | DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED – State v. Ms. E. (DMC No. 6209) (Phoenix City Court 3415491): Ms. E. was pulled over for allegedly having a fake registration tag on her license plate.  Officer’s then told her that her license was also suspended.  At trial, we admitted to the fictitious license plate sticker, but fought the Driving on Suspended License allegation due to the fact that even though the notice was mailed to Ms. E. regarding a suspension, it did not actually go into effect until 3 days after the actual incident.  If Ms. E. had been convicted of the suspended license charge, she would have lost her license for a year.

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL | HIT and RUN – State v. Mr. H. (DMC No. 5517) (Mesa City Court 2005-016635): Mr. H. was accused of a hit and run for backing out of a parking space and striking another vehicle.  A witness said the Mr. H. looked outside of his car, then got back in and drove away.  When Mr. H. was contacted, he claimed that he didn’t realize he had hit another vehicle.  At trial, we were able to convince the Judge that the collision was so minor, and that Mr. H. was looking in the wrong spot, that the State could not meet its burden of proof.  Mr. H. was found not guilty of all charges.

NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL: EXTREME DWI (.166 BAC), DUI & DWI – State v. Mr. P (DMC No. 6815) (Phoenix City Court No.3529141): Police were called by the Fire Department who stated that they had received a call regarding a man passed out inside a running vehicle in the parking lot of The Business Patio at 32nd Street and Baseline Road in Phoenix, Arizona. When they got there, they found that Mr. P appeared intoxicated and they subsequently arrested him for DUI. He provided a .166 Blood Alcohol test, and he told them that he “was not driving, only sleeping”. One of the other Officers had also stated that earlier he had seen the car with the engine off and 2 male passengers in the car. During the Bench Trial, we argued to the Judge that there was no Actual Physical Control (APC), and Mr. P was merely using the vehicle as temporary shelter. The Judge agreed and Dismissed all charges against Mr. P.

DUI & DWI (.138 BAC) DISMISSED at BENCH TRIAL After EVIDENTIARY HEARING for LACK of PROBABLE CAUSE to ARREST – State v. Ms. Z (DMC No. 8528) (McDowell Mountain Justice Court TR2007-182186): Ms. Z was driving with a friend near Scottsdale Road and Camelback in her husband’s new car.  An Officer stated that she appeared to be driving too fast for the conditions in the area and he stopped her. He smelled an odor of alcohol beverage, and then had her conduct Field Sobriety Tests. She performed extremely well on the tests, including keeping her leg up all 30 seconds on the 1 Leg Stand. He subsequently arrested her and gave her a blood test which revealed a .138 BAC. We filed Motions to Dismiss for No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop and for Lack of Probable Cause for Arrest. At the Evidentiary Hearing at Bench Trial, the Judge agreed with us and found that she had performed the Field Sobriety Tests consistent with a sober person. He Suppressed all Evidence that would come in after the stop. The state was forced to Dismiss all charges at that point.

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