» Entries tagged with "DUI"

Tempe’s Perverted Priorities

A recent article about Tempe discusses some new cash coming in for a very important purpose: The Tempe Police Department has been awarded a grant worth more than $360,000 to tackle a backlog of untested rape kits. “We are looking at several hundred kits at least,” Mike Pooley, a lieutenant with the Tempe Police Department, said. There are rape kits stacked to the ceiling in evidence vaults around the state and Tempe is no exception. Detectives can only guess 500 or more kits deserve to be tested and reviewed. If you’re thinking Tempe has prioritized the investigation and prosecution of rapes as something urgent, though, you’re crazy. How does that make them any money? At any given time, my caseload involves at least one person who got caught taking a leak in some dark … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

Prove You’re Not Impaired

The best thing I can say about the recent Supreme Court of Arizona opinion in Dobson v. McClennen is that it is far better than the terrible Court of Appeals opinion it vacates. The heart of the issue in the case is the Mesa City Prosecutor’s Office’s despicable desire to convict medical marijuana patients of driving under the influence when they are not under the influence. The Court of Appeals of Arizona condoned the practice. Although the Supreme Court of Arizona disagreed, it placed the burden on patients to prove their lack of impairment. It is actually a pretty simple issue if you do not have something against medical marijuana and a serious creative streak when it comes to statutory interpretation, as A.R.S. § 36-2802(D) provides that a medical marijuana patient … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Medical Marijuana


The folks at the MVD tell me that, if you do your administrative suspension before you are convicted of DUI, you can get a restricted license after thirty days and avoid having to get expensive SR22 insurance. They say you won’t get those benefits if you are convicted first. Speaking with former clients, however, the ones who do the admin per se suspension first do indeed experience what the MVD predicted, but so do the ones who get convicted first. I haven’t called the MVD to argue with them about why they didn’t screw my clients like they said they would. The folks at jail tell me that, if the order of confinement for a day of jail says “one day,” they will hold my clients for a … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants, jail

All The Power

Adrian keeps telling me: Sometimes I wish we just dealt with those people from Hellraiser instead of some prosecutors; then, at least, my mom could understand why my job is so damn frustrating. I went to court a while back for a felony DUI client. Absurd mandatory minimums and absurder (this can’t be a word, but Google says it is so I’m going with it) plea policies from most prosecutorial agencies make me hate these cases. That combined with the fact the crime isn’t so much something someone might know they’re committing but rather possession of an arbitrary amount of something in their blood as determined by a machine that might not work makes for a killer cocktail of injustice. When the crime is something designed to insure you … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Prosecutors

A DUI Victory! (Mostly…Well A Little, At Least)

In 2012, I discussed the fact there were real problems with the scientific evidence offered by the state in criminal cases and that many courts not only let the questionable evidence come in, but even prevented the defense from bringing up the problems. In 2013, I wrote about the problems with a machine used for blood tests in Scottsdale DUI cases specifically, and about how a superior court judge actually ruled that blood test results in several cases were inadmissible pursuant to Rule 702 of the Arizona Rules of Evidence because the scientific principles and methods weren’t being applied reliably because of their equipment problems. Always the skeptic (and usually right), I was less than optimistic about what the appellate court would do. In 2014, I was (sadly) proven right, and … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

One Day Of Jail And A Whole Lotta Pain In The Ass

Quite often, criminal punishments are harsh not because they involve a lot of jail time or heavy fines, but because of the irritating hoops you have to jump through to satisfy them. It’s most common in Phoenix DUI cases, and it reaches its irritating extreme for out of state DUI defendants trying to do their jail sentence someplace else. Come on vacation, leave on probation It’s a common little joke around here, and in my line of work, I see it in action constantly. Whether we’re the destination for the Superbowl, a golf tournament, a biker rally, or a high school spring break field trip, we make sure our cops work around the clock so no vacationer escapes without having to respect our authoritah. The poor guy who lives elsewhere, who … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, jail

Ignoring The Will Of The People

You would never in a million years see an opinion like State v. Hancock in anything but a criminal case. In it, the Supreme Court of Arizona spent its valuable time analyzing a provision that said a certain group authorized to do a certain thing cannot be denied “any right or privilege . . . by a court” for doing that thing. One party was a member of that group, and the other party was trying to have a court deny her the thing a court by law cannot deny her. It might seem like the Supreme Court’s conclusion is beyond obvious, and it surely should be. The problem, however, is that the party arguing the law does not mean what it says is the State of Arizona, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Drugs

Calling You Out, Brian Sloan And “The Arizona DUI Team”

As much as I value the information they can provide and respect many of my colleagues who participate in them, I don’t belong to any of the local lawyer listservs. I quickly tire of people bragging about wins, and I find that the ones who brag the most tend to paint less than complete pictures of what really happened. There are occasionally other sorts of misinformation too. Plus, I hate needless drama. It’s exhausting. Earlier today, someone brought to my attention a perfect example of why I’m not involved in listservs. Here it is, a message to a DUI lawyer listserv from lawyer Brian Sloan, who apparently leads “The Arizona DUI Team” (make sure you capitalize the “The,” apparently), trying to “call out” an excellent lawyer … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The MVD Should Not Be Allowed To Have Nice Things

Arizona’s MVD, our equivalent of what everyplace else seems to call the DMV, has been on a bit of a rampage lately. I used to routinely wait months and months to get a hearing on a license suspension, but now they schedule them with such a quick turnaround that they conflict with other things in my calendar more often than not. This notice arrived in the mail on February 23, 2015: By the time I received it, the hearing was only fifteen days away.  Had my client needed a foreign language interpreter, it would’ve already been too late to request one.  Had it arrived just a few days later, I would’ve gotten it after my deadline to move to continue the hearing it set. Noticing it was dated February 12, 2015, I … Read entire article »

Filed under: MVD Hearings

Rock Bottom

At a hearing earlier this week, I mentioned to the judge how a police officer unfairly targeted my client. It seemed to me that the cop was clearly out to get him. The judge laughed, “he’s a motor; of course he’s out to get your client, those guys are out to get everyone.” The prosecutor laughed too. The judge then mentioned how he gets extremely nervous every time he’s driving his car and sees a “motor” sitting there on a motorcycle, just waiting to catch someone for something. “I keep my hands at ten and two, go under the speed limit, and only look straight ahead,” he joked. The prosecutor chimed in, “those guys will nail you for anything; they’d give their own mother … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

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