Category Archives: Case of the Month

How Motions Can Win a DUI Case

There are many ways of winning a DUI case, and one way is to fight the case with “motions”. Motions are pleadings filed with the court asking it to throw out the case entirely or limit evidence that the State can use against the defendant.

The most common motion I use is called a Motion to Suppress.  This motion serves 3 purposes. First, it could possibly win the entire case, such as when the court rules the stop illegal. Second, it allows me to cross examine the cop to see if he/she can actually articulate why the defendant was arrested for DUI, whether they followed their training, and so forth. This is especially important in cases where there is no video of the arrest. I can cross examine the officer and many times show the State that the officer did not follow basic operating procedures for a DUI arrest, or doesn’t make a good witness.  Finally, sometimes the officer fails to appear for the hearing and the case gets thrown out.

One of my most recent cases shows the importance of motions: my client was stopped for weaving, supposedly failed all of the field sobriety tests, and registered a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 on the breath test. At the motions hearing, the officer was unable to remember or articulate my client’s physical appearance, could not articulate how he administered the field tests, and most importantly, NEVER testified that he read the implied consent warning (the warning needed as a prerequisite BEFORE admission of any State breath test). As a result the .08 was excluded from evidence. After the hearing, the State approached me and offered a dismissal of the DUI in return for a plea to reckless driving. My client readily accepted the reduced charge, and the case was over without the further expense of a jury trial for my client.

Motions are an important tool in aggressively defending DUIs, and any good DUI attorney should use motions on most DUI cases.  To learn more about the DUI defense and other traffic related services I offer visit my website and continue to read by blog.  Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for access to the latest traffic offense news and updates.

Case of Month: When the System Works

This month’s case is an example of how sometimes our criminal justice system can work.  My client, who takes prescription drugs for anxiety and depression, was arrested for DUI prescription drugs.  He was found by a passing motorist, slumped over at the wheel of his car on the side of the road. The engine was off. No one had witnessed him driving the car. When the police arrived on the scene and were able to wake him, he admitted that he was driving home, had an anxiety attack and took a prescription drug.  He decided to pull over when he began to feel the affects of the drug and call his family for help; he subsequently passed out. In Georgia, a person commits a DUI when

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5 Thoughts about the Casey Anthony Case

I have been spending the past week at the beach, and I have been thinking about the Casey Anthony trial recently. Now that the initial hoopla over the not guilty verdict has somewhat calmed down, I thought I would express some of my opinions on this case. 1. Why so much interest in this case? Was the death of a 2 year old child tragic? Sure. Was it as nationally newsworthy, and more specifically, should it have drawn the attention it did? Hardly. Did you know that 22,000 children die each day, according to the World Health Organization? Not many from murder or accidental deaths, but mostly from starvation. Why doesn’t our news media spend as much time talking about those deaths as they did about Caylee Anthony? 2. Why are Americans so gullible in believing that what they see and hear from True Crime shows is in fact the truth? The American news media, and in particular “true crime” shows such as America’s Most Wanted and Nancy Grace, make tons of money sensationalizing local crimes. According to a May 2011 New York Times article on Nancy Grace, “TV Justice Thrives on Fear” Grace her crew play fast and hard with the facts:
Ms. Grace, a former prosecutor in Atlanta who was reprimanded for stepping over a line more than once, obliterates lines every night on “Nancy Grace.” Working with a contingent of experts who have all the independence of a crew of trained seals, Ms. Grace races toward judgment, heedlessly ignoring nuance and evidence on her way to finding guilt.
Nancy Grace, of course, absolutely knew that Casey Anthony was guilty, and Nancy is always right. Right?

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Directed Verdict of Not Guilty for Case of Month March 2011

This month’s case shows how you can win a DUI case without going all the way to a jury.  My client, a Nebraska resident, was in Atlanta for a meeting.  He got turned around and was driving the wrong way on Spring Street. He was stopped by an Atlanta police officer and subsequently charged with DUI.  Even though he agreed to take the Field tests (a no no!), he refused to take the State Breath test. We decided to fight the case with a jury in the State Court of Fulton County.  I had noticed the accusation, which is the charging document, alleged that my client was “driving under the influence of alcohol on Peachtree Street.”  It was also apparent that the State prosecutor had no idea that the accusation was drafted incorrectly. In a criminal case the State must prove each and every element of the charging document.  Once a jury is empaneled , double jeopardy attaches and the Defendant cannot be tried again.  So in this case, I waited until the jury was empaneled,  let the State’s officer testify and even cross examined him about the facts of the case; my last 2 questions were: Was client X driving on Peachtree Street?  Was he ever driving on Peachtree Street to your knowledge? Of course the answer was “no”.  I sat down, let the State rest, and then asked the court to dismiss the charges in what is legally called a directed verdict.  The Court agreed, dismissed the charges, and client was happy! Was my client lucky? Maybe, although I thought we had a good chance to win even with a jury verdict. Did it help that he decided to spend the money on an experienced   DUI lawyer? Absolutely!

Case of Month February 2011

This month’s case is the prime example of why you should never do the voluntary field tests.  My client was stopped in Doraville for allegedly running a red light.  He was stopped by Doraville’s top gun DUI cop and refused all field tests, which infuriated the cop.  Luckily the stop was captured on video and showed my client’s speech as normal and his walk to be steady.  The client did not appear impaired on the video. The other correct thing the client did was not taking the breath test at the jail; in this case the cop went ahead and proceeded with license suspension; however we were able to get the case tried in Doraville quickly so that my client’s license was suspended for only a couple of months. At trial, the cop was unable to articulate why my client was rendered incapable of driving safely due to alcohol, primarily because my client looked good on the video and because my client didn’t provide evidence which could have incriminated him.  My client was found NOT GUILTY of DUI! Remember, you should always exercise your right not to provide evidence against yourself in a criminal case; We still have the shelter of the presumption of innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Make the State prove their case!!

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The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
Case of the Month (3)