2012 Bench & Jury Trial Results (as of September, 2012)
STATE v. R.B.
DUI (x2), Jury Trial
Client was stopped at a roadblock where, according to officer, he failed all field sobriety tests, admitted to consuming 4 long island iced teas earlier in the evening, and told officer that he didn’t normally consume so much alcohol. The video showed poor field sobriety performance by the client, but also showed client interacting well with officer before testing. After being arrested for DUI, client was apparently breath tested on an Intoxilyzer 5000 and blew a .102 (over .08 limit). At trial, the prosecution was unable to produce the actual breath testing slip, though the officer was allowed to testify to client’s test result and it had been noted on both the traffic citation and in the officer’s typed report. After approximately 90 minutes of deliberations, the jury acquitted the client of both charges- DUI less safe (the cop’s opinion on client’s impairment) and DUI per se (client’s alleged .102 test result).
STATE v. T.B.
Unlawful Passing, Bench Trial
Client was charged with unlawfully passing a school bus in Forsyth County, Georgia. State’s evidence included testimony from bus driver identifying vehicle make, model, color, license plate and a general description of driver, to include gender and hair color. State also claimed to have multiple children who witnessed the incident, but did not testify at trial. After a bench trial, client was acquitted with the judge citing reasonable doubt in the State’s identification of driver.
STATE v. L.H.
Unlawful Passing, Jury Trial
Client was charged with unlawfully charged with passing a school bus in Forsyth County, Georgia. During pretrial negotiations, State’s best offer was $1,000 fine and a no contest plea to the charge. State’s evidence included eyewitness testimony from a Forsyth Sheriff Deputy who witnessed the client pass the bus. Client admitted on video to Deputy that she passed the bus. The State did not have the bus driver present for trial. At trial, I used the affirmative defense of accident, citing the 2011 Olgivie case as support for charging the jury on accident, even though client was being prosecuted for a Title 40 offense. After argument from both myself and the State, the judge did give the charge to the jury. Jury acquitted the client after around 30 minutes of deliberation.
STATE v. H.R.
DUI Bench Trial/Motions
Client was charged with DUI less safe after a single car accident in Fulton County, Georgia. After the City of Atlanta’s best offer was to drop the DUI to reckless driving, the case was bound over to Fulton County. At motions, the State’s witness was an Atlanta P.D. officer who testified that client hit a phone pole, totaling car, and appeared intoxicated upon examination by the officer. At motion to suppress, it was determined that the arresting officer neglected to read client Georgia’s implied consent notice. After argument, the judge agreed with the Defense’s argument that the failure to read implied consent tainted the arrest, and dismissed the DUI charge.
STATE v. D.G.
DUI Jury Trial
Client was charged with two counts of DUI (per se & less safe) in Fulton County, Georgia. The State’s evidence included having a video of the client’s traffic violation, as well as multiple field sobriety tests conducted by a DUI taskforce officer and a .104 Intoxilyzer 5000 test result. Due to funding issues, the client was unable to retain any expert witness to challenge the field tests, or the Intoxilyzer result. After deliberations, the jury acquitted the clients of both DUI charges and found him guilty of a charge of speeding, which was admitted during trial.
STATE v. B.M.
DUI Jury Trial
Client was charged with DUI less safe in Coweta County, Georgia. The State’s evidence included field sobriety testing by Coweta’s leading DUI arrest trooper and the client’s alleged refusal of a blood test, though the client did tell the trooper that he would submit to a breath test. After a one day trial, the jury acquitted the client of DUI.
STATE v. H.W.
DUI Bench Trial/Motions
Client was charged with DUI drugs- less safe in Fulton County, Georgia. We had previously turned down the City of Atlanta’s reckless driving reduction offer for client. The State presented the arresting officer’s evidence at a motion to suppress regarding the client’s manifestations of impairment. The evidence also showed the client was speeding when pulled over. After a motion to suppress, the judge found probable cause, but the evidence was seemingly scant. Client agreed to waive jury and have a bench trial with the motion’s record stipulated as the evidence. The judge ruled the evidence presented could not reach the State’s burden and acquitted client of the DUI charge.
CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS v. H.J. & J.F.
Local Ordinance Violations, Bench Trial
Client and his wife were charged with a combined total of 17 counts of local ordinance violations stemming from a house party where somewhere between 100 and 300 people were in attendance. The City’s evidence included the party host’s testimony about the rental agreement for the house that evening, testimony from the officer on scene that evening, and testimony from a code enforcement officer who spearheaded the investigation. Before trial, City’s best offer was for clients to plead guilty to all charges and pay fines totaling $17,000. After a bench trial, client’s wife (who I represented after obtaining conflict waiver) was acquitted of all charges. Client was acquitted of all but 3 charges and was ordered to pay fines on the three charges totaling $900.00.