Tactics In Utah DUI Cases
So exactly what can I do for you when I say that there are quite a few defense tactics?
Let me show you what I mean through an actual example.
I had a case in September of 2000 where my client (let’s call him Joe) had been stopped by a police officer on a street around 4:00 p.m. on the street. He was having an argument with his girl friend. Because of way in which the police stopped, tested Joe with field sobriety test, and arrested him, I filed several motions. I challenged the stop, roadsides, and arrest. I filed a motion to suppress the preliminary screening test, a motion to suppress statements and a motion to suppress the field sobriety tests.
I also filed a motion to suppress all the evidence. At the pre-trial hearing for consideration of my motions, the police officer admitted during questioning by the prosecutor that “I didn’t know if he (Joe) had committed a crime, was about to commit a crime or what the circumstances were.”
After stopping him he approached my client and testified that “I did notice an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming out his breath…” But I doubted the stop was even legal to begin with. So, during my questioning of the officer I was able to get the officer to admit that he never saw my client drive. He never saw my client commit a crime. The only basis for the officer arresting my client was that a witness called in and said that my client was having an argument with a female. The officer had no personal observations that a crime was even being committed. In essence, I got the officer to tell me that he was strictly working on a hunch.
The end result was that we ended up taking this case to a jury trial. My client was found Not Guilty in less than an hour. Six months later, I defended one of the jurors in a criminal matter. Before I go any further, let me tell you that I’m not promising that I can do the same in your case. That would be unethical. Every situation is different. That was pretty interesting , wasn’t it? Let me give you another example.
This one involves my client, I’ll call Sam.
Sam was pulled over one night for speeding. The officer smelled alcohol and performed the Field Sobriety Tests. The officer gave Sam a preliminary breath test and then arrested him. The officer then took Sam to the police station and administered two intoxilyzer tests and the results were .15 and .17. This was Sams third DUI in 6 years. He was facing a felony charge and going to prison. The District Attorney would not offer Sam any kind of deal that would benefit him. We made the State to the preliminary hearing and put on evidence. For three hours, I interrogated the officer on his skills and his abilities to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. I learned that there were numerous errors on the officers part.
Then, when the state just about had their case wrapped up, the magistrate asked for the affidavits that the intoxilyzer machine was working properly. The prosecutor did not have them with him. The prosecutor had no witness that could testify that the machine was working properly.
The magistrate found that there was not enough evidence to bind over my client for trial. The State filed a motion to reconsider, which the judge denied. The State then filed an appeal with the Utah Court of Appeals, which I responded to. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the magistrates decision. Since then, the State has filed a Petition to Reconsider.
In essence, you never want to give up. Sometimes, when things look really bad and all the evidence is stacked against you, out of the blue something goes your way. Never ever give up!
Could the same be true for you? I don’t know now, but if you call for your free consultation, I will explore all these types of possibilities with you. The lesson to be learned from this example is that a case–your case–may be able to be defended by one or more challenges to the charges you are facing.
Could the same be true for you? I don’t know now, but if you call for your free consultation, I will explore all these types of possibilities with you.
The lesson to be learned from this example is that a case–your case–may be able to be defended by one or more challenges to the charges you are facing.
That’s what I do for my clients.