DUI Case Wins - Part 2
Case #16 – DUI and Child Endangerment in Municipal Court Of Atlanta
Description: While on her way to bail her child’s grandfather out of jail, our client—a single mother—was arrested for drunk driving with her child (who was under 14 years of age) in the vehicle. Because this was her second DUI offense, we knew we had to do everything we could to help the client avoid another conviction. Having the child in the vehicle would mean AN ADDITIONAL DUI, so she faced TWO DUI charges in this case. We were able to convince the prosecution that there were some weaknesses in the case in order to get our client’s charges reduced to reckless driving—allowing her to avoid jail time and a driver’s license suspension.
Outcome: DUI and Child Endangerment charges dropped, in exchange for a Reckless Driving guilty plea
Case #17 – Taking Over A DUI Case From Another Criminal Defense Attorney
Description: Our client was previously represented by another DUI attorney, who convinced our client that he wouldn’t have to face the criminal charges as long as he stayed out of Georgia. This advice was both improper and unethical, by the prior DUI lawyer. After two years, our client—who was getting married—decided he needed to handle his pending charge to put his past behind him. Working with our firm on when and how to do this, he surrendered himself to the court and was granted a release on bond pending his trial. The prosecution wanted to make an example of our client by offering a deal that required him to stay in jail for a year. However, we knew this option was not suitable for our client, and took the case to trial—securing a not guilty verdict at trial.
Case # 18 – Client Arrested by State Trooper For Third DUI At Municipal Court Of Doraville
Description: Our client was arguing with his girlfriend (passenger in the car) while driving when he exited I-285, crossed over all eight lanes of traffic on Buford Highway while going southbound, hit a curb, and then went up the opposite ramp and was pulled over by a Georgia State Trooper. The trooper noticed two cases of beer in the vehicle and obtained an admission from our client that he had just left a nightclub. The trooper asked our client to take an Alco-sensor and horizontal gaze nystagmus test but did not ask him to perform the other standardized field sobriety tests due to the hazardous conditions of traffic on Buford Highway.
Because this was our client’s third DUI in five years, he had to fight his charge or risk significant jail time. During the pre-trial motions phase we were able to get our client’s refusal to take the evidentiary breathalyzer test thrown out due to an improper implied consent warning. We were also able to get the Alco-sensor results thrown out as well, due to being administered improperly.
We sought to challenge the trooper’s administration of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test during the bench trial. After undergoing cross examination regarding the test, the trooper testified about our client’s appearance and behavior at the time of arrest, without explaining what the horizontal gaze nystagmus test proved. The trial lasted only 25 minutes before our client was acquitted by the Doraville judge.
Outcome: Not Guilty of DUI
Case #19 – DUI Roadblock Ruled Illegal at Doraville Municipal Court
Description: The Fourth Amendment controls whether a DUI checkpoint is being legally operated or not. During a DUI checkpoint, local police are required to abide by pre-set roadblock site approval and supervision guidelines. After our client was arrested for drunk driving at a Doraville DUI roadblock, just north of the Oasis Goodtime Club, Mr. Head filed a motion arguing that the roadblock was not established according to existing standards. Although our motion to declare this sobriety checkpoint unconstitutional was granted, the prosecutor appealed the ruling. Fortunately for our client, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld the court’s original ruling and our client’s arrest was deemed illegal.
Outcome: All charges were dismissed due to 4th Amendment violation
Case #20 – Attorney Charged With DUI After Rear Ending Another Vehicle at Fulton County State Court
Description: Our client, an attorney, was driving on I-285 when he rear ended another vehicle. The first officer to the scene believed that our client was under the influence, and administered several field sobriety tests before handcuffing our client. The officer was then joined by a DUI Task Force officer, who had the client step out of the other officer’s car, where the second officer then took off his cuffs, and gave the standardized field sobriety tests to him. The DUI task force officer recorded our client failing the field sobriety tests. Our client also refused to take a blood test, so he refused the implied consent test.
As this was his third DUI offense within five years, the best plea bargain offer from the prosecution included six months in jail. We filed a number of pre-trial motions, resulting in the suppression of the DUI Task Force officer’s video, all of the field sobriety test evidence, as well as any mention of the field sobriety tests and our client’s refusal to take a breath test.
After more than 38 months, the case was finally up for trial. Because almost all of the prosecution’s evidence was eliminated, the DUI charge was dismissed and our client entered a plea of guilty to reckless driving—allowing him to avoid jail time and save his career.
Outcome: DUI charge reduced to reckless driving
Case #21 – Breath Test Results Suppressed In Gwinnett County
Description: Our client was stopped for speeding. The defendant participated in field sobriety tests as instructed. A video showed that the officer did not follow proper protocol in administering the tests and that the client did not consent to taking a breathalizer test at the scene, but was told to do the breath test at the station. The breath test registered a .092% BAC. When this was pointed out, the Judge in Gwinnett State Court suppressed the breath test results. Our client was able to plea to a reckless driving charge and avoided a jury trial. Our client was able to move on without a DUI on his record.
Outcome: DUI reduced to reckless driving
Case #22 – Motion To Suppress Granted Based On Client Testimony And Lack Of Video Of Traffic Stop
Description: Our client was pulled over on I-285 for allegedly having blue lights coming from his vehicle, which is illegal in the state of Georgia. Blue lights are only permitted in a passenger car if you are a police officer. Our client worked at Circuit City and was the lead installation technician for people who wanted to add TVs, radios, aesthetic lights, etc to their cars. He testified that the lights in his car were white, not blue and that there was no way that the light could be mistaken for blue. As there was no video of the traffic stop, the judge chose to trust the testimony of the client and determined that the officer was mistaken. The motion to suppress was granted which left the state with no evidence to prosecute our client. All charges were dismissed and the client’s bond money was returned.
Outcome: DUI Dismissed
Case #23 – Officer’s Unclear Testimony Leads To Granted Motion To Suppress – And Dismissed DUI Charges
Description: Our client was pulled over for speeding, but was then told that he had to take a field sobriety test or he would spend the night in jail. The client failed the field sobriety tests and then blew a .120% BAC back at the jail. The judge suppressed the field sobriety tests but did not originally suppress the breath test based on the fact that the officer’s testimony was unclear. We spoke with the judge explaining that our client would testify to what occurred since the officer’s testimony was unclear.
After hearing what our client was going to say, the judge decided that there was no need for trial and the breath test was suppressed. With both the field sobriety and breath tests suppressed, the prosecution had evidence to move forward. Our client was DUI free and simply had to pay a speeding ticket after all was said and done.
Outcome: DUI Dismissed. Plea to speeding
Case #24 – Key Witness Helps Client Receive Not Guilty Decision On DUI Charges
Description: Our client was pulled over for failure to maintain lane. There was no video of the traffic stop but he failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested by a Georgia State Patrol officer. Our client refused the state breath tests at the station. The officer included embellishments of impairment in his testimony including slurred speech, swaying and unsteadiness. This case would have been not been a win except for the witness which was presented by the client. The client was hanging out at a Rockdale County Police officer’s home earlier that evening. This officer had great credentials including being certified to give breath tests. The Rockdale officer’s testimony weighed heavily against the arresting officer’s exaggerated testimony and our client was found not guilty of DUI.
Outcome: Not Guilty
Case #25 – Suppressed Breath Test a.nd Lack of Testing Of Substance Leads to No Guilty Verdict of DUI and Marijuana Possession
Description: Our client was pulled over for crossing the gore on a highway. When the officer approached the vehicle, they observed marijuana smoke coming from the car. The officer then noticed marijuana on the floorboard. Our client agreed to a breath test which registered a .115% BAC. Because the client had a marijuana charge, the officer would not agree to reduce the case to a reckless driving. At trial, there was no evidence that the substance in the car was tested and found to be marijuana. The marijuana charge was dismissed and since the breath test was also thrown out during trial, the client was found not guilty of DUI.
Outcome: Not Guilty of DUI and Marijuana charge dismissed
Case #26 – Circus Animal Cruelty Case
Description: Our client was an elephant trainer who was accused of putting a bull hook into an elephant’s mouth – he was charged with animal cruelty. A loss in this case would have cost our client his job. The main opposing witness was an animal control officer and veterinarian who refused to speak with me before trial. Evidence did not corroborate this witness’s testimony. We provided medical evidence and video evidence to contradict the state’s witness. In the end, the verdict was in the client’s favor.
Outcome: Not guilty
Case #27 – Superior Court Overturns Probate Court’s Decision On Legality Of Roadblock
Description: Our client came upon a roadblock on Memorial Day weekend. She did not show significant signs of impairment during field sobriety tests, but was still arrested. She blew a .111% BAC. At the Probate Court level we argued that the state was not able to prove that the roadblock was set up legally in accordance to the Fourth Amendment. The judge in the Probate Court convicted our client. Not satisfied, I filed a memorandum to the Superior Court with regards to the judge’s decision based on the evidence provided of the legality of the roadblock. The Superior Court judge agreed and reversed the trial court’s decision. Our client was able to get the DUI removed from her record.
Outcome: Not guilty following an appeal to the Superior Court
Case #28 – Man With Suspended Driver’s License Charged With DUI
Description: Our client was on probation for a DUI and had a suspended driver’s license. A police officer found him drunk and sleeping in the back seat. He claimed that his car had run out of gas and admitted to driving the car to the scene. He refused field sobriety tests but submitted to a breath test which registered a .254% BAC. This case went to trial. I continued to try to negotiate a deal throughout the trial process. The state was not able to present valid evidence of a suspended license or signs of impairment. During closing argument when the state saw that the trial was not going in their favor, we reached an agreement. While found guilty of not having a license on person, the DUI and suspended license charges were dropped.
Outcome: Negotiation during closing argument of trial: guilty of not having a license on person but DUI and suspended license charges were dismissed
Case #29 – Court Rules No Lawful Basis For Stop – DUI Charges Dismissed
Description: Our client was stopped for squealing his tires at a busy intersection. At the Administrative Hearing, the arresting officers claimed that our client turned in an aggressive manner. At a hearing a couple of months later the same officer claimed that the client almost lost control of his car. With inconsistent statements and video footage of the event, the state was unable to prove that there was a lawful basis to stop my client. As such, all evidence (poor field sobriety tests and .16% BAC) was suppressed and the case was dismissed.
Outcome: Motion to suppress granted and case dismissed
Case #30 – Extensive Testimony on Breath Tests Results in Not Guilty Verdict for DUI Charge
Description: Our client was in the area for a business trip and made an illegal U-turn. An officer pulled him over and conducted field sobriety tests. The client failed the field sobriety tests and blew a .122% BAC. The client’s career was on the line in this case. We pointed out inconsistencies in the officer’s testimony and problems with the breath tests through the arresting officer’s testimony as well as expert testimony. Our client was found not guilty and was able to keep his job.
Outcome: Not guilty on all counts of DUI
Case #31 – Questionable Traffic Stop Gets Reduced From DUI to Reckless Driving
Description: Our client pulled into a closed child care center at 2:00 AM and was pulled over. The client failed field sobriety tests and blew a .156% BAC at the station. After several hearings, legal memorandums and motions to suppress, the state offered a reckless driving charge.
Outcome: Charges reduced to reckless driving after motion hearing
Case #32 – Underage DUI Dismissed
Description: Our client was a college student under the age of 21, and the incident took place the night before he was leaving for the National Guard. Our client’s car ran off the road into the bushes. He left the scene and returned with his mother. At that point there were officers on the scene. A breath test was taken and resulted in a .061% BAC. This case was set for trial. The day before the trial, the state granted the mother of the client a sit down. The arresting officer in the case had also recently had a questionable run in with the prosecuting attorney on this case. As such, the prosecutor weighed the mother’s statements heavier and agreed to allow the client to plea to too fast for conditions, and dismissed the possession by a minor and DUI charges.
Outcome: DUI dismissed and plea to too fast for conditions
Case #33 – DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving on Technicality of Arresting Officer Not Following Training Protocol
Description: Our client was charged with having an unlawful alcohol level in his body (blood alcohol content or BAC ). He had been involved in an accident and also vomited several times. This case originally went to trial. During trial we pointed out that police training mandated that a defendant’s mouth be rinsed after vomiting before taking a breath test. Before a ruling could be made in the trial, the arresting officer agreed to reduce the case to a reckless driving charge.
Outcome: Reduced to reckless driving
Case #34 – Driver Passed Out in Car on Wrong Side of the Road Found Not Guilty of DUI
Description: Our client was out celebrating her birthday. That night she was found passed out in the driver’s seat in a car parked on the wrong side of the road. When police officers arrived, they knocked on the window to wake the client. The client held that she did not drive the car. Her husband admitted to and testified that he drove the car and left his wife on the road in the car after an argument that evening. With this testimony, the state was not able to prove that the client drove the car. She was found not guilty.
Outcome: Not guilty on all counts
Case #35 – Man With .110% BAC Gets Into Accident and Found Not Guilty of DUI
Description: Our client lost control of his vehicle and was involved in a car accident. The vehicle’s trajectory and impact caused the airbags to deploy. Police stated that our client had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and was dazed. He blew a .110% BAC back at the station. This case went to trial. We suggested that the signs of being under the influence were also consistent with having been in an accident where an airbag deployed. We further had an expert witness testify that the breath test results could have been in error based on the substances that were in the airbag.
Outcome: Not guilty of DUI but guilty of failure to maintain lane
Case #36 – Unlawful Roadblock Leads to DUI Being Dismissed
Description: The client in this case had a history of DUI charges. He was stopped at a roadblock which I learned was set up to stop all people living inside a neighborhood cul de sac. A motion to suppress was granted as the state was unable to prove that the roadblock was lawful. All evidence stemmed from the traffic stop was suppressed and the client was free of the DUI charge.
Outcome: DUI dismissed
Case #37 – Man Sleeping In Car On Side Of Road Charged With DUI But Found Not Guilty
Description: My client was found slumped over his steering wheel in a car on the side of the road. When the officer arrived he vomited on the officer’s shoes. The client was charged with DUI. A witness testified that she drove the client to this location. Our defense was that the client did not, in fact, drive the car. The state was not able to prove otherwise and the judge found my client not guilty.
Outcome: Not guilty
Case #38 – DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving Based on Improper HGN and Consent to State Test
Description: Despite driving on the median, having slurred speech and failing other dexterity tests, my client’s DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving due to the arresting officer’s testimony. The officer could not properly explain how he performed the HGN and could not state for sure if the client had agreed to the State test. Based on this testimony, the state agreed to reduce the charge in this case.
Outcome: DUI reduced to reckless driving
Case #39 – Woman Rear Ends Cop But Gets DUI Charge Dismissed
Description: My client rear-ended a police officer. The police officer called a second officer to check my client for DUI. She was given field sobriety tests and read the implied consent at that time. The client refused the state test. The officer testified that my client was read the implied consent again at the station and this time she agreed to the state test. Before this testimony I found out that this was false – the implied consent was not read again at the station. The officer committed perjury and the state’s second witness would confirm this. The prosecutor on the case spoke with his second witness in private and came back to offer he would drop the DUI if my client would plead to following too closely and thus pay a fine. My client happily accepted this offer.
Outcome: DUI dismissed and charged with following too closely
Case #40 – Man Found Passed Out in Car in Bar Parking Lot – Found Not Guilty of DUI
Description: My client was found passed out in his car with the engine running in a bar parking lot. An officer quickly spotted my client’s car in the parking lot since the bar was closed. My client failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He also failed a breath test at the station. This case moved forward to trial. At the trial my client provided a receipt which showed he purchased food and drink at the bar at a certain time and then testified that he was too drunk to drive so he went to his car to sleep. The state was not able to prove that he operated the vehicle at any point under the influence and thus he was found not guilty of DUI.
Outcome: Not guilty of DUI