July 10, 2012

Details are Important

In contrast to the last DUI case post where the cop was going out of his way to, shall I say, lie about the evidence, this DUI case in Anne Arundel County was different. This case involved a fairly serious accident where the driver drove through a guard rail and down a steep embankment darn near killing herself. Thankfully she did not hit any other cars during her interlude.

Cops arrive on scene, note the "overwhelming odor of alcohol" on her breath, ask the poor client to do the field gymnastics notwithstanding the accident and being punished by the airbag and surprisingly she does not "pass" their gym test. Things don't look great for this young professional lady.

We go to Court and I tell the government prosecutor that we would be willing to plead to a negligent driving charge and to drop the alcohol charges, he looks at me weird and says no way. (New prosecutor that does not no me.)

So the prosecutor puts his case on, calls the cop to the stand, wastes a lot of time running through irrelevant crap but fails to notice that his police officer did a shoddy job on the reports. The details of the incident are not matching on the various reports and the Judge is receptive to these incorrect details.

After the State's case (before the Defendant testifies) I threaten the State with a Motion for Acquittal and the State knows it will be granted so he now decides a plea to negligent driving is not such a bad idea after all. All alcohol charges are dropped and another happy client is returned to her family!

Continue reading "Details are Important" »

July 10, 2012

Reminder UNDER the legal Limit: Still UNDER arrest!

Just a reminder that .08 BAC does not mean that is the legal limit for a DUI arrest. As I have previously written, the police will not hesitate to arrest on any number if they are having a slow night, or their non-existent quotas have not been met for the month.

I am presently in Ocean City Maryland because yesterday I was called upon to defend a pleasant young man attending college that blew a .05 and was driving on a flat tire. He was nervous when he did the field sobriety tests so they were not perfect, but then again, they never are according to the men in blue. Anyway, this cop made a point in his arrest report of writing six different times, "the defendant had the STRONG smell of alcohol." This appeared 6 times in two pages. It was almost funny because I haven't seen an instance of the cop trying to guild the lilly this bad in many years.

After the cop arrests my client and drags him to the station, and notes the "strong smell of alcohol" in his police cruiser (probably coming from the cop and not my client) the cop proceeds to hook him up to the breath machine and gets that all important alcohol number. .....whoops, it was only .05!! Now what?

What is a cop to do after he has made such a stunning arrest and documents the overwhelming odor of alcohol, despite the defendant telling Mr. Cop the truth, that he only had two beers? Well, that's easy, tell the Defendant to sit still while they call the DRE or drug cop to gather more overwhelming evidence.

Continue reading "Reminder UNDER the legal Limit: Still UNDER arrest!" »