Lies convict. Some cops lie about big things in DUI arrests. I turn over every rock searching for truth. When I find it, I set the case down for a bench trial. I’ve started taking the thing to a DUI bench trial when there is police perjury and when I know that the judge handling the case is fair about ruling on motions when the State’s evidence falls short. Sometimes no video footage of the stop and arrest is introduced by the prosecutor. Other times, the video stops after you are put in the back of the police car. Did it break? Or, did the cop turn it off? In Savannah, Georgia, often there is no video of the breath test location. The cop’s word is their whole case. What is on that video? Something is wrong. People hide important things. People who do not tell the whole story cannot be trusted. And now the rest of the story.
I’m behind the eight ball. My goals depend on your case. In Paul’s case my goal is to cross the cop early at the administrative license suspension hearing or the preliminary hearing to show that a video was made. For Marie, I’ll try and get the cop to admit that the camera did not malfunction, but that he turned it off. My job is to get the cop on the record telling us that he doesn’t know what time he read Marie implied consent. He doesn’t know where he was when he read it to her either. Bonnie Lynn asked for an independent test. And, nothing shows that she didn’t. Now it’s on the State to prove that you didn’t ask for an independent test. Often, nothing ever shows that you asked for another test. With a fair judge this isn’t going to fly. This lack of proof might get rid of the State’s test for Paul, Marie, and Bonnie Lynn. If we win, I’ll drink to that.
Things I do
- Offer to stipulate with the prosecutor to have the cop and my client (defendant) submit to a polygraph test. I always get my client to do a private polygraph test first to make sure he or she will pass. Then I stipulate the disposition of the test.
- I have my polygraph operator present when my client takes the state test to make sure they do it right.
- I use discovery to get all repair and service records of the cop’s video camera from the manufacturer, the area supervisor (who services the machines,) the GBI Division of Forensic Sciences, and the County or Municipal Authority that owns the equipment.
- I hunt down copies of the cop’s DUI arrest reports of his prior 20 reports and his subsequent 20 reports.
- I get the original tape to look for tampering and deletions.
- I get prior sworn testimony of the cop before and after my client’s arrest.
- I get police investigation reports
- I get officer conduct records
- I get officer internal affairs records
- I use Freedom of Information Act requests
- I use Georgia Open Records Act Requests
- I use GCIC History Printouts
- I use web investigation services to sniff people out. It tracks down anybody.
- I request the things I need by writing a thoughtful letter. Then when the things don’t come, I show the jury my letter asking for the things.
What I do when the State Violates their Obligations under the Discovery Statutes:
- Move for mistrial. Or, ask for whatever relief you feel justified. If this fails,
- Move to exclude the evidence or witness.
- If this fails, move for a continuance.
- If all else fails, Perfect the record and Request a missing evidence charge: If the State doesn’t give you evidence, it’s prejudicial to you. The jury should be allowed to infer the state failed to produce evidence because it was favorable to you.