Case 1: DUI charge reduced to Reckless Driving because officer failed to perform Field Sobriety Excercises properly.
Our client was arrested in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia for DUI. At the motions hearing, we had the opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer regarding the manner in which she administered field sobriety exercises and the method that she used to evaluate our client's ability to perform them. It was clear that the police officer was not using the proper procedures for administering and evaluating field sobriety exercises. Guy Sharpe used his training on field sobriety exercises by asking the police officer pointed questions about how she determined that the defendant failed the field sobriety tests. After the motions hearing was completed, the judge commented that he would be surprised to see the state go forward with this case since it was apparent, from the officer's testimony, that the officer was ill prepared to show that she administered and evaluated field sobriety exercises in the manner recommended by the recognized authorities. The DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving and our client was very pleased with the results.
Case 2: DUI case thrown out because officer refused client's request for independent test.
In a Cherokee County case, our client was charged with DUI and driving with an unlawful alcohol level. Our client requested another Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 test, as his own independent test. The arresting officer refused to administer another breath test, even though the law says that he was entitled to one. At the motions hearing, we argued that the state's test should be suppressed since the arresting officer did not allow my client to have his own independent test, performed on another Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000. During the trial of the case, my client was found not guilty of DUI, but guilty of having an unlawful alcohol level. We appealed the case and the Court of Appeals reversed the verdict of guilty, stating that the trial court should have thrown out the evidence of the breath test administered to my client since the arresting officer refused to allow my client to have an independent test on another Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000.
Case 3: DUI case dismissed because officer had no legal reason to pull over client.
Our client was arrested for DUI and we filed motions to suppress evidence of the blood alcohol test. At the motions hearing, the trial court found that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull my client over, since she had not committed any moving violation. The judge suppressed the evidence of the blood alcohol test and the case was dismissed.
Case 4: DUI case dismissed because Judge did not believe officer's testimony that conflicted with witness at scene.
Our client was arrested in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia for DUI and following too close. Our client ran into the rear of another car. At the motion hearing, the police officer testified that my client had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage about his breath, that his speech was slurred and he failed the field sobriety exercises. The driver of the car, hit by my client's car, testified that he had been talking to my client for approximately thirty (30) minutes, prior to the officer's arrival at the scene. During that period of time, he was talking to my client regarding the condition of his car and the facts surrounding the collision. The other driver testified that he did not smell an odor of alcoholic beverages about my client's breath and that he did not appear to be intoxicated. This was in direct conflict with the police officer's testimony. The judge believed the driver of the other car and found there was no probable cause for his arrest for DUI.
Case 5: Jury finds DUI client Not Guilty because he looked good on the video tape of his arrest.
Our client was arresting in Smyrna, Cobb County, Georgia for DUI and speeding. There was a videotape of the arrest and field sobriety tests. At that motions hearing and trial, the police officer testified that my client had failed field sobriety tests. Since there was a videotape taken of the arrest, we played the video tape back to the jury. Even though the videotape showed that my client did well on the field sobriety tests, the police officer testified that he failed. The jury elected to believe the videotape and found my client not guilty. (He had refused to take a blood alcohol test.) During cross-examination, the police officer was slanting his testimony in favor of proving my client guilty, by stating that he performed poorly on field sobriety exercises. After showing the jury the video of the field sobriety exercises, it was apparent that the police officer was testifying in direct conflict with what was shown on the videotape.
Case 6: Felony Drug case dismissed because officer performed illegal search of client by lifting shirt to look in pockets.
Our client was arrested in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia and was charged with felony possession of marijuana. During encounter with federal agents, agent performed a pat down search of client and did not feel anything that he could identify as a weapon or illegal drugs. Client was wearing a long shirt hanging outside his waistband half way down his legs so agent lifted his shirt to see if client had anything in his waistband. After he lifted his shirt, the agent saw a clear plastic bag in one of his pockets that contained marijuana. We argued to the court that this was just like lifting up a girl's skirt to see what was under there and that it constituted an illegal search. The court agreed that the search was intrusive and illegal and suppressed the evidence of the drugs. Case dismissed.
Case 7: Felony Drug case dismissed because officer illegally detained client and performed an illegal search of her person where drugs were found.
Our client and her friend were arrested in Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia behind local Publix early a.m. dumping garbage in the Publix dumpster. Cruising officer noticed the truck lights and pulled in to investigate since the store was closed and he thought it was suspicious that a vehicle would be there at that time of the morning. My client had a gun in the truck and pointed it out to the officer and showed him her permit to carry the weapon. The officer detained client for about 30 minutes trying to get her to consent to him searching her truck. She finally consented to the search of her truck but not her person. Officer searched her person anyway and found meth. Since client had not been observed breaking any law, the officer had no reason to detain her and the judge held the search was illegal and suppressed the evidence of the methamphetamine that he found when he went ahead and searched her person without her consent. Case dismissed.
Case 8: Child molestation trial results in hung jury. Charges reduced, client pleads to lesser charges, no jail time, 4 years probation, first offender treatment.
Client is 82 year old man falsely accused in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia of molesting neighborhood child by tickling her and touching the breast area of 8 year old. Child's mother had falsely accused the child's father of molesting his daughter during their divorce. Those charges were withdrawn by the mother. During client's trial, the child's girlfriend testified that she did not see the client do anything improper to the accuser in her presence and that she was with the accuser when they were visiting the client, playing on the trampoline, and watching TV in the client's apartment. The client had many witnesses from his church testify about his character and the jury deliberated the case for a week before a hung jury and mistrial was declared. Rather than risk another trial and possibly getting a not guilty verdict, the state reduced the charges, and the client pled to lesser charges, placed on probation with no jail time and first offender treatment. That means that he will have no record after he satisfactorily completes probation, and the charges will be dismissed at that time.
Case 9: Domestic Violence case dismissed after both parties successfully complete Anger and Violence courses.
In Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia female client was charged with aggravated assault for sticking a knife in live-in boyfriend's neck. The client and her boyfriend were in the kitchen arguing and things started to get physical. The female client's 8 year old son started coming into the kitchen to defend his mother, and the boyfriend started to go after her son. Client grabs knife and sticks it in boyfriend's neck, then grabs son and leaves. Client later found by police with blood all over her. Boyfriend lives and they both come into the office asking me to represent her. During the office interview, it was obvious that the boyfriend and client had anger and violence issues, so I agreed to represent her only if BOTH of them would go into Anger and Violence counselling. Each of them successfully completes counselling and the charges were dismissed by the District Attorney.
Case 10: Client was arrested in the city of Canton, Cherokee County, Georgia for DUI.
As a citizen of Ontario, Canada, the implied consent rights read to him were not appropriate as they tell him that his license will be suspended if he were to refuse to submit to the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 breath test. Fearing that he would lose his license if he refused the breath test, he took the breath test and was above the limit. He did not look bad on the field sobriety excercises. We researched the case law about people being told that they would lose their license if they refused the breath test. Since he was an out of state resident (and out of country) the implied consent notice was deficient and the test results could not be used to prove that he was above the DUI limit of 0.08. The prosecutor and judge agreed that since the test results could not be used to prove he was DUI, they agreed to finish the case with a plea to reckless driving.
Case 11. Client was arrested in Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Georgia for DUI and failing to maintain lane.
She scored 0.092 on the breath test machine, just over the limit of 0.08. We argued that since the intox machine has a female bias, and they could not produce a copy of the video of the arrest, that they should give her the benefit of doubt on the issue. The prosecutor agreed and reduced the DUI to reckless driving.
Case 12. Client was arrested in city of Roswell, Fulton County, Georgia for DUI and failure to maintain lane.
Client was a South Carolina resident and had a South Carolina driver's license. Due to the same legal issues as raised in case number ten above, the arresting officer and prosecutor agreed to negotiate a reduction of the DUI to a reckless driving plea.
Case 13. 22 year old male charged with child molestation with 14 year old female, case dismissed after motions filed.
I just finished a child molestation case where my client was the 22 yr old male involved in heavy petting and providing alcohol to a 14 yr old female. The female did not want my client prosecuted and the Dist Atty was giving the family advice not to talk with the defendant's attorney or his representatives. He was accused of rubbing her vaginal area, no sexual intercourse.. I tried to keep him from being indicted but not successful. I just could not see him going to jail for a minimum of 5 years and being declared a sexual predator for heavy petting.
Since the parents were letting the girls talk to the detective without the benefit of counsel, and the girls indicated that they did not want to go forward with prosecution, I came up with the idea of getting the court to appoint a guardian ad litem to give them legal advice with emphasis on getting a guardian with criminal experience who could tell them about the provisions of 24-9-27(a).
After I filed the motion, the Dist Atty called me and said she wanted to talk with me about my motion. I told her we had about 12 more motions to file and she might want to wait until the next day when she could talk with me about all of them. She then offered to dismiss the child molestation charge if my client would plea to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is what happened last week.
Giving legal advice to a witness to not talk with me or my investigator is interferring with my client's rights, and could be the basis of a bar complaint.
The above is a summary of how many cases are completed. Not guilty verdicts are obtained by successful cross-examination of the arresting officer, pointing out how his assertions cannot be factually true or believed. We also have had great success pointing out how police officers improperly administer field sobriety exercises and fail our clients, based upon an improper method of evaluating our client's performance on the tests. It is important to note that field sobriety exercises are designed for failure. Most people cannot perform field sobriety exercises regardless of whether they have had anything to drink. Many of them require you to perform balancing exercises and restrict your ability to perform same by requiring you to close your eyes, tilt your head back, and prohibit you from raising your arms. These tests are not accurate measurements of whether or not a person is DUI. They only allow the officer to make the assertion that because a person did not perform them well, in his opinion, he was justified in making the arrest. Not guilty verdicts also require the attorney to make successful challenges to the blood alcohol test machine used to measure the quantity of alcohol in a person's body. To successfully challenge the blood alcohol testing devices, you frequently have to use outside experts. This can be expensive. (Around $3,000) However, for someone who makes a living driving his automobile, it's worth the expense.
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